Kaja Robinson is 53 and has a daughter about to go off to college, but she is still embroiled in bizarre, kafkaesque disputes over the $17,000 student loan she took out in the 1980s: for decades, she has had to set aside whole days to call debt collectors and try to get them to acknowledge the payments she's made -- for which she has paperwork, but which the lenders lost track of, causing her loans to balloon to $49,000.
Read the rest
New leaders of FLDS polygamy cult known for ritualized child rape have reportedly purchased property and started building in Northern Minnesota. Known polygamist and convicted felon Seth Jeffs, brother of convicted pedophile Warren Jeffs who's serving life plus 20 for child sexual assault, obtained permit to build a 6,000-sq ft compound. Construction equipment has arrived.
SETH STEED JEFFS is “a known polygamist, a convicted felon and a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).”
One of Seth's brothers is Warren Jeffs, the convicted pedophile and former FLDS boss who is in prison.
Seth Jeffs is currently being sued over claims he participated in that same ritual sex abuse orchestrated by Warren Jeffs in the FLDS. Seth is reported to be in hiding from the child rape lawsuit, and has faced related legal troubles around a food stamp abuse scheme the authorities say funded the FLDS.
In 2011 Warren was convicted of two felony counts of child sexual assault, for which he is currently serving a prison sentence of life plus 20 years.
After Warren went to prison, media attention mostly faded. People still live in the communities along the Utah-Arizona border where men like Warren and Seth were once kings. The Utah town of Hildale has a female mayor now, who grew up in the FLDS. She's amazing, and her name is Donia Jessop. Those former FLDS temple buildings in the Utah and Arizona border towns of Hildale and Colorado City no longer host FLDS worship services, and most of the faithful moved on to colonies elsewhere. Read the rest
Frontier Communications is a telcoms company so naturally they're a terrible company (a telcoms company is just a collection of regulatory subsidies wrapped up in a layer of greed and malpractice); the company is one of the nation's leaders in the use of fraudulent accounting to evade taxes, and it takes in $283.4 million every year in tax-funded subsidies to provide services to rural Americans, while ripping them off like crazy and cutting corners by neglecting its network and allowing it to fall into dangerous disrepair.
Read the rest
Late last year, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson sued Comcast for lying and lying and lying and lying and lying to the people of Minnesota, all the time, because Comcast is a garbage company, universally loathed by every person who has ever come into contact with them, with the sole exception of FCC Chairman, noted coward, and former telcoms exec Ajit "Fucking" Pai.
Read the rest
This weekend I'm camping in a secret location with a bunch of nutty geniuses. Two of them are Jon Wee and Owen Morse, a comedy juggling team who work together as The Passing Zone. They're performing Saturday night, September 8, 2018, at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in St. Joseph MN, not far from Minneapolis-St. Paul. Read the rest
In an age of decadence, narcissism and shit behavior from well-to-dos that's excused with mutterings of affluenza, it's always nice to be surprised by someone anonymously throwing a large sum of money at a worthy cause.
Before talking about the inherent good that some affluent individual pulled out of thin air earlier this week, we need to talk about The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising. For the uninitiated, it was a brief, ugly piece of American history. The short version of events: The Dakota people were pissed: the United States government had been screwing them out of land, coming up late with agreed-upon shipments of essential supplies and submitting them to unfair trade practices, contrary to what had been signed off on in treaties between the Dakota/Sioux nations and the United States of America. Tempers flared, as they do over issues of trust and sustenance. A group of Dakota killed a party of Minnesota settlers. War between the U.S. Government and the tribes broke out.
38 Dakota men were captured and convicted of war crimes. They were hung in response to the killing of the settlers: it was the largest single day mass execution in American history. By April of 1863, having lost to superior government forces, the remaining Dakota people were forced out of Minnesota as the United States Congress abolished the tribe's rights to their reservations. Hundreds of people on both sides of the war died as a consequence of the conflict.
Fast forward to the present day: a peace pipe with a history that traces back to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 was included in an auction being held in Boston. Read the rest
The average donation to first-time socialist candidate for Minneapolis City Council Ginger Jentzen is $25, and she accepts no corporate money. She's running on a platform of citizen oversight of the police, rent controls, and a $15 minimum wage. She's outraised any other candidate in Minneapolis history.
Read the rest
"It's okay to feel good about things here but there's no sense running down the street telling people about it at the top of your voice Minnesotans prefer to express their positive feelings through the use of negatives because it naturally levels things out.
From the 1993 TPT video "How To Talk Minnesotan" by Howard Mohr. He also wrote a book with the same name.
[via Kottke] Read the rest
After shooting Philando Castile dead during a traffic stop -- a killing that was livestreamed on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds -- the police obtained a secret warrant for Reynolds's Facebook account, including her private messages and deleted messages, accompanied by a gag order that banned Facebook from every discussing the warrant's existence. Read the rest
Last fall, I wrote about the strange case of Minnesota governor Mark Dayton, a left-wing billionaire heir to the Target fortune who came to power and reversed his Republican predecessors' Reagonomic idiocy, instead raising taxes on rich people, increasing public spending, and creating shared prosperity for the people of Minnesota. Read the rest
By every measure, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton's five year run as governor has been a stellar success: while Tim Pawlenty, his tax-slashing, "fiscally-conservative" Republican predecessor presided over a $6.2B deficit and a 7% unemployment rate (the mere 6,200 jobs added under Pawlenty's 7-year run barely registered), Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to the Minnesota economy, brought Minnesota down to the fifth-lowest unemployment rate in the country, and brought the average Minnesotan income up to $8,000 more than the median US worker, while posting a $1B budget surplus. Read the rest
Less than a week after an officer from a nearby force shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop, leaving him to die in front of his child and girlfriend (and the world on livestream) the Minneapolis Police Department has perjured itself in issuing a copyright takedown notice to Youtube in order to suppress a controversial recruiting video that depicted the jobs of MPD officers as being a firearms-heavy shoot-em-up. Read the rest
Minnesota's SF3609, the Personal Rights in Names Can Endure (PRINCE) Act, is the broadest, most ill-considered publicity rights bill in American history. Read the rest
Kids in the Twin Cities asked their families what they could do to express their feelings about local lion-killing dentist Walter Palmer. Star-Tribune's Glen Stubbe got some great shots during protests at Palmer's office. Read the rest
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has threatened the Duluth library's free seed-sharing program because it doesn't conform to the seed-distribution rules laid out for big agribusinesses. Read the rest