Here is everything you need to know about what Jeremy thinks about the DNC this week. Also included are some thoughts about the RNC, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump et all and some interesting insight into Philippine politics and their new President, strongman Rodrigo Duterte. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to comment below. We would love to hear from you, the reader.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
The Minnesota legislative session has ended and the Governor has left in a tiff as he always does. This time he’s mad that there wasn’t mandatory pre-kindergarten funding in his new education budget, despite the fact that educators and administrators and practically no one else supports such funding.
Republicans from the district met with constituents this week to discuss the outcome of the latest legislative session, including the non-sensical veto of the education bill by the Governor. That budget provides $17 billion additional dollars to education to students and districts in the state. But because the governor didn’t get his pet project, mandatory Pre-K, he vetoed the bill, at the end of the session, without any discussion or negotiation with the legislatures.
Ultimately, the Republicans will no doubt be blamed for the shut down and the inevitable layoffs in the districts, especially the Republican Majority House of Representatives. But the fault is purely on the part of the democrat Governor Mark Dayton, who has no support from legislators on the right of the eisle, no support from educators and school administrators, and very little support from his democratic base. In fact, school administrators have called on the governor to abandon ideas of funding school mandatory pre-k because the districts have no teachers available and trained, no facilities and are ill prepared for adopting such a program.
The parents have their students in school already for 13 plus years from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Colleges and Universities have them for another four or more. But that isn’t enough time to indoctrinate students in the liberal world view. Which, in my view is another good argument for abandoning the current school system and asking for a program that involves homeschooling with after school programs, and vouchers for schools that are failing students in the inner cities.
Governor Dayton has listened to zero of his constituents in regards to his unreasonable desire for mandatory pre-K. It’s time that people started calling his office and telling him how parents really feel.
“The governor really doesn’t know what to do about phone calls from constituents,” said State Senator Carla Nelson-R. “He really doesn’t respond well to pressure, either from phone calls or at the negotiation table. Which, is really why people should call the governor’s office right away.”
Call the governor and tell him how you feel at 651-201-3400 or toll free at 800-657-3717.
A legislative special session is required in order to avoid a shut down of education in the fall. Only the governor can call for a special session, but he cannot end it, which is why local legislators have an opportunity to work on this and other legislative issues if such a session is called.
Read more about the Governor’s veto and impending education layoffs at the Daily Globe here.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
With hope for a better future, with aspirations and dreams, 848 new naturalized American Citizens were sworn in at a public ceremony at the Minneapolis Convention Center Sept. 24th.
I was a part of this journey since my girlfriend, the love of my life, embarked on it earlier this year. We decided together she’d been here long enough, now was the time to pursue becoming a citizen. We paid the money, $680 for the interview, biometric and other fees, with the help of family and friends. We borrowed a book to study for the test. We read all of the rules and did all the confusing paperwork. We called in to work in order to make the trips to Minneapolis and St. Paul for her appointments, we never missed one, and we were grateful for the people who helped us out and picked up or shifts.
We studied hard and in all, my baby’s interview took 9 minutes, 44 seconds, just enough to answer six questions of the battery of the 100 we studied, time enough to drop all her paper work on the floor and raise the wrong hand. Nervous as we were, she knew all the questions by heart and answered them succinctly enough to impress the interviewer. We did it, we were on our way to becoming a citizen. I was so proud of her.
My girl, Roselle Salvador Taburada, the Asian lady with the Spanish name, came here to America over seven years ago from the Philippines. She spoke English and had a degree in business management. He got her Green Card and got a job as soon as she was able. It wasn’t always easy. Her husband was a dud and her marriage failed. In her anger and despair she contemplated leaving and going back to the Philippines. But she stuck with it and got a better job, in food service. She was active with friends and with the community, earning a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and competing in tournaments. We’ve got her trophies on our bookcase in our home. She’s been active in the Philippine-American community. Her life was turning around and it seemed time to strive for the ultimate goal, citizenship.
On that happy day we were so excited. She wore a new pink dress that she picked out for the occasion. We left home early so as not to get lost in traffic and be late. It was cold and rainy and there was fog on the road. I just love driving in traffic on days like that. We found our spot and stood in line. There was a spot marked out for the new citizens there in the hall of the convention center. We got there early and had to wait. There were so many people there that we filled the hall. It was standing room only when we finally got in. About half an hour late, thanks to government inefficiencies, the doors of the hall opened and we started to get sorted. I couldn’t sit with my Rose, we were put in separate lines and ended up on opposite sides of the hall. I brought the wrong camera for the occasion, I thought I would be closer to the stage, and got photos I’m not real happy with. But we made it through and it was a nice ceremony.
The League of Women voters used up the waiting time before the ceremony and offered to register all the new voters. I commented about this to the two Mexican women sitting next to me, saying, “Look, it’s so nice of the League of Women voters to register new Democrats, uh, I mean ‘voters’!” They laughed politely. Both of the ladies, fast friends who had never met before that day, were amazing and fun to talk with. The younger one was from Peru and was there for a friend. She fiddled with her new Android Galaxy smart phone that looked more like a television. (I bet she got better photos than me.) The other woman had come from Mexico and had been here for over 20 years. I enjoyed listening to them speaking Spanish together, the syllables sound like music to me, unlike the German and Arabic I studied. It was fun talking and listening to their stories of their separate journeys to become citizens and their hopes for their relatives and friends who were being sworn in that day.
The League finished passing out pens and papers to the attendants and the ceremony got underway. The US District Court for the state of Minnesota was the host of the event and opened the ceremony as t hey would any other official court function. An assistant to a US district court judge opened the court session. She took the time to announce the numbers of people present from the different countries and had each stand in turn when they were announced. That’s when we learned the nationalities and the numbers of each applicant present. I remember a few; two from Iran, two from Iraq, 20 from the Philippines, one each from Canada, Israel, Australia and the UK. Many from war torn, disease-ridden Africa, including the largest number from the non-country of East Africa, Somalia: 98! Wow!
When the district court judge’s assistant completed the task of announcing all the applicants, she made a motion to open the court and recommended that the gathered applicants be sworn in as citizens, having been vetted as people of high moral character who have completed all of the requirements of citizenship. The judge took over and presided over the court, approving the recommendation of citizenship for all in attendance. There was a music video played with the patriotic Lee Greenwood song played. The judge had all the attendees stand and raise their right hand as the oath was administered. The oath, very similar to the oath I took as a newly commissioned lieutenant in the United States Army, was displayed on a large view screen at the front of the hall. The applicants spoke in unison, swearing allegiance to the United States, abandoning all allegiance to their country of origin and swearing to protect their newly adopted nation with force of arms if need be. It was a very moving ceremony. I cried.
I made the hail-Mary move of inviting our local state senator to join us for the ceremony and to the pleasure and surprise of both of us, she was happy to come. Carla Nelson-R from Rochester, found my parents in the large hall and sat with them for the ceremony. The judge recognized her as well as our Federal Senator, Amy Klobuchar, who sat up front with the judge and his assistant. We were happy to meet both of our representatives, state and federal on that important day.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Klobuchar made a few remarks. She talked about citizenship, and about her own path through life. She explained that her grandfather had been a coal miner in northern Minnesota, had taken care of his family and worked hard in the mine all his life, putting the children through school. Now a generation later, his grand-daughter was a United States Senator. It is that kind of determination and hard work that makes a US citizen and affords the citizen success later on, success they might not otherwise find in their country of origin.
I have no major qualms about what our Senator said up until that point. I was actually quite impressed with the history of or democratic senator, a story I had not heard before. Then she told the crowd in what sounded like a campaign speech, that she was for comprehensive immigration reform, to which the majority of the crowd loudly applauded. Except for me and the Peruvian and Mexican sitting next to me.
Comprehensive immigration reform, Senator?! What does that mean? We have a legal process that allows many, many people to enter the country legally every year, many who take the step to become legal citizens. On that day, 98 Africans who had escaped the black hole of that continent, Somalia, were sworn in and naturalized. What more do you want? Should we swing the doors open to everyone who wants to come? Should we invite even those people who don’t embrace our values? I think we ought to keep and embrace our current system or more clearly define how you propose to change it. I didn’t hear the Senator do that.
At the end of the ceremony, my parents and Sen. Nelson found us. I still hadn’t seen Rose, who was still up front getting her certificate of citizenship. I told the Senator, doubtful, “I don’t think we can get up there.” She said, “Don’t worry, let me take care of that.” She lead me through the crowd to the front where we found Rose. We then pushed to the head of the line to meet Sen. Klobuchar. Nelson introduced herself to the senator’s staffer, who waived us ahead. Because of Nelson’s clout, we got our photo taken with our Federal senator, a moment in time we will never forget. The Federal judge we missed, he had already escaped out the back.
Since the ceremony, we’ve gotten a lot of recognition for Rose on her achievement. We’ve registered to vote and we are studying the candidates. I hope the other new citizens sworn in that day are also happy with their achievements but also studying the issues that are affecting our state and our nation. I hope they will uphold their oath to protect and defend their new nation, abandoning interests in other lands. I hope. If they have the work ethic, patriotism and drive of the Pilipino immigrants I’ve met in the last two years, they’ll do fine.
Rose and I are very grateful for all the support we received from family and friends.
Rose always gets people coming up to her saying, “Congratulations dear, now you can pay taxes like the rest of us!” to which Rose replies, “You’re crazy, I already paid the taxes!” Do you think the IRS would let us by without paying taxes, you are crazy.
I’ve put off writing this column because I didn’t know quite what to say. I guess the major thing I want people to know is what it took for us to get here and our gratitude for all who helped and supported us. That’s all. And for all who want to come here and enjoy the benefits of citizenship I want to say this, please don’t violate our laws to do it. Do the right thing, the legal thing. The benefits of citizenship are massive, but so are the responsibilities. Both go hand in hand. Don’t take on this journey if you are not able to accept one without the other. There is a path and many have taken it and have been grateful for it. You can do it too, if you want to become a citizen of the United States of America.
Minnesotans will soon have to choose whether or not to require photo ID at the polls. The state legislature placed a constitutional ballot amendment question on November’s ballot after Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a voter ID bill last year.
The amendment question is a yes or no question asking voters whether or not they want the constitution of Minnesota to require voters to present valid state photo ID when they vote. Proponents say the bill will cut down on willful voter fraud in the future, while opponents say it will disenfranchise certain voters who are unable to get photo ID, such as shut ins, nursing home residents, and overseas residents.
Recent polls indicate most Minnesotans favor a voter ID law.
Rep. Mike Benson, a primary architect of the bill, says it will empower voters because so much of what we do on a day to day basis requires an ID and points out that those seeking government services require a photo ID in any case.
“Voter fraud is so difficult to detect and it is cost prohibitive to prosecute,” said Benson. “It’s not a priority for local county attorneys with the other crimes they have to deal with. This measure will help to detect potential voter fraud before it happens.”
Rep. Mike Benson comments on Voter ID Constitutional Amendment Question. Video by Jeremy Griffith
Sen. Carla Nelson explained that voters who show up to the polls can still vote through a provisional ballot system. The bill will do away with vouching, but will not eliminate same day registration, she said.
“This bill, let’s be clear, will do away with the practice of vouching,” said Nelson. “It will not eliminate election day registration. And those who cannot afford photo ID, the government will provide one for them.”
Sen. Carla Nelson Comments on Voter ID Constitutional Amendment Question. Video by Jeremy Griffith
Dan McGraff, executive director of Minnesota Majority, had a lot of input into how the bill was presented to the legislature. His organization found irregularities after the heavily contested election of 2008. According to statistics he found from the State Secretary of State’s office, over 23,000 postal verification cards sent to verify the new same day voter registrations came back because they were unable to find a valid address or a person at the address that met with the description of the person registered. Since the 2008 election over 400 people have been identified as having voted illegally and 113 have been convicted, he said.
The 2008 election was the year when Al Franken-DFL narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Norm Coleman for the US Senate seat. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, with statistics from the Minnesota Canvassing Board, shows how close the election was before and after legal challenges and a six week recount process.
Opponents of the ballot question say that voter fraud is actually well below one percent of the 2.9 million who voted in the 2008 election, and that the amendment would further disenfranchise voters who would otherwise not be able to get a valid photo ID.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are currently over 30 states that have some kind of voter ID law on the books today.
You can hear debate for and against the proposed amendment at the Minnesota State Legislature’s website here.
The language of the final amendment questions can be seen here.