Thursday, December 31, 2009

Natal Chart

This is my natal chart, also known as birth chart. It tells what you were given when you came into this world. What you do with it is up to you.

Do you want your free natal chart? Go to Astrolabe and just put in your birth information, including date of birth, time of birth and place of birth. It's easy! And you can look at it in the privacy of your own home. No one will ever know that you looked at an astrology chart! No one will think that you're into astrology. Almost everyone, though, is curious as to what their natal chart says about them.

Here's mine:

Name: Colleen Morse

April 8 1950
1:07 AM Time Zone is CST
St. Paul, MN

Rising Sign is in 03 Degrees Capricorn
You are practical and reserved but very ambitious. An achiever and a hard worker, you respect success. Older looking and very serious as a youth, things lighten up and you relax more as you mature. You have a serious view of the world as being a difficult place to be in. Very envious of those who seem to have an easier life than you have, relaxation and play do not come easily. It is important that you had abundant parental support as a child so that you do not feel lonely and isolated as an adult. Generally, you have a good, earthy sense of humor that can carry you through when times really do get tough. You are purposeful, self-willed, industrious, realistic and responsible.

Sun is in 17 Degrees Aries
By nature, you are very energetic and high-spirited. You are fiercely independent -- you must be first in everything you do, and you enjoy taking risks. You are the one who will rush in where angels fear to tread. Quite brilliant at initiating new projects, you are terrible at following them through to completion. You are an enthusiastic leader but you tend to be a reluctant follower. Often you are quick to anger, but you usually recover just as fast, regretting later things you said when you were upset. One of your best traits is that you are simple and direct, blunt and honest -- just be careful you do not hurt others' feelings. Your need to be competitive at all costs may provoke resistance from others, but, as long as you maintain your usual Sunny good humor, this should not prove to be a major problem for you.

Moon is in 02 Degrees Capricorn
You are serious and shy and very uncomfortable in those situations where spontaneous and exuberant emotional reactions seem called for. An achiever, you prefer doing practical, worthwhile things that produce tangible results. You need role models to respect, love and emulate. You tend to feel that you're a failure unless you get an important and highly respected position in life. Don't be so hard on yourself! For you, practical needs always win out over emotional considerations. Remember that you too have the right to comfort, security and love. Dutiful and patient, when you make an emotional commitment, you sign on for the long haul -- your love is long- enduring.

Mercury is in 29 Degrees Aries
Very quick-witted, you are known for being an independent thinker. You love to debate and argue, and are excellent at repartee and battles of wits. At times, however, you act too fast on hastily formed opinions and thus waste a lot of energy defending your rash and sometimes incorrect conclusions. It is perfectly acceptable for you to defend your beliefs with your usual vigor, but try not to take the opinions of others as personal insults.

Venus is in 01 Degrees Pisces
You have a dreamy, fanciful, romantic nature and a very creative imagination. Indeed, at times, your private fantasies are more appealing than the reality around you and it is difficult for you to leave them. You tend to be unselfish and giving in relationships and are extremely sensitive of the needs of others. Be very sure that those you help are worthy of your devotion and are not merely taking advantage of your innocence and naivete.

Mars is in 26 Degrees Virgo
Very careful and systematic, you pay great attention to details. You are always seeking perfection and sometimes get bogged down searching for the ultimate when adequacy would have been sufficient. You dislike abstractions, preferring whatever is practical, useful and demonstrable. You have a strong and enduring sense of personal responsibility, and you demand that others be as responsible and upright as you are. Very critical of yourself and others, sometimes you carry this too far and become overly intolerant of others and their right to choose their own lifestyles.

Jupiter is in 28 Degrees Aquarius
Your personal growth occurs when you have the freedom to do things in new and interesting ways -- this brings out your natural inventiveness. You are an individualist, but you are also attracted to mass movements that emphasize social betterment and you will devote much time and energy to their efforts. Very fair- minded and objective, you have extraordinary skills at organization and administration.

Saturn is in 13 Degrees Virgo
Your life must be orderly and practical and full of known and familiar routines in order for you to feel comfortable with yourself. Be careful, however, not to let "order" become the be-all and end-all of your life, or you may become cold, crass and unfeeling. Doing useful, practical things boosts your self- esteem. Abstract concepts and reasoning seem frivolous and a waste of time to you. You are very critical of yourself (and others), indeed at times quite self-deprecating. Try to relax a bit and allow yourself the freedom to fail once in a while. However, you probably won't fail very often because you are such a perfectionist.

Uranus is in 01 Degrees Cancer
For you, and for your peers as well, the demand to be free from entangling emotional bonds is of paramount importance. You have a unique and unfettered view of family life and will be attracted to experimenting with freeform styles of relationship commitments. This may lead to a rootless, unsettled lifestyle.

Neptune is in 15 Degrees Libra
You, and your entire generation, idealize all of the various experimental approaches to relationships -- including "living together", the formation of communes and collectives and the whole concept of "open" marriages. There is a stress on weakened commitments on an emotional and contractual level, but there are heightened expectations of the level of commitment and mutual support on the spiritual and metaphysical level.

Pluto is in 15 Degrees Leo
For your entire generation, this is a time when the relationship of the individual to society as a whole is being thoroughly re-examined. Major attempts will be made to find a balance between the need to be self-sufficient and the need to honor debts of social commitment.

N. Node is in 07 Degrees Aries
You're at your most comfortable when involved in group activities outside of your immediate family circle. You delight in getting involved with others in neighborhood civic or political activities, especially if you can be a part of the leadership of the group. Your zeal and overabundant energy bring out your real creativity when you can work toward tangible results -- things that will immediately benefit those around you. You have a real gift for getting the most out of charity drives and community benefits. Take time out between projects though, because you tire out easily and your effectiveness becomes greatly diminished when your energy is depleted. Also, don't even think of trying to get involved at a peripheral level -- you need a total commitment to feel personally fulfilled. Let others bake the cookies and set up the chairs -- you should be the one to tell everyone what to do and when to do it!


Ten DFL Gubernatorial Candidates at reNEW Minnesota Forum

The DFL gubernatorial candidates all have the same basic platform. After all, they are all DFL. So how are DFL voters going to decide which one to vote for? The endorsements are all over the place. I'll bet the delegates who will attend the DFL convention in Duluth in April will be all over the place too. It's time for each candidate to try to break away from the pack and tell the voters why we should vote for you. What makes you different from the others? All I've heard so far is a bunch of doubletalk and general ideas of what you're going to do once you're governor. Voters are smart enough to understand whatever you tell us as long as it's the truth. What is different about you and your ideas? Or doesn't it matter which of you becomes governor? Maybe it'll all be the same no matter which DFL candidate we choose.

Do you have a precise plan with a time schedule for getting Minnesota back on track? If so, what is it? For example, you could say unemployment in Minnesota will drop to such and such percentage by such and such date. Every book you read on success and every course you take on success tells the importance of having specific goals. What are your specific goals? What is your time frame for meeting each specific goal? A goal is something to strive for. If it's too general, nothing will get accomplished. This election is the future of each Minnesotan. Tell us what your plans are and why we should vote for you. I'll tell you this: if you don't have a specific plan, you'll never make it to the Governor's Mansion.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


This is what our tax money goes for? To pay the salaries of a bunch of legislative comedians? Good grief.


This video sure makes it look like Tom Rukavina could get things done. Sounds like he has a conscience, too, and knows how to speak out when something is wrong in our government. Watch and listen!

Here's Tom Rukavina on Minnesota taxes. He effectively uses a lot of humor here, too, and the legislators crack up.


Toastmasters' Banners at a District 6 Conference

Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit organization that helps people improve communication and leadership skills. It also builds self-confidence and self-esteem. Communication and leadership skills go hand in hand. There are many good reasons why Toastmasters teaches both communication and leadership skills. People with good communication skills are more likely to be promoted to leadership positions, and good leaders need communication skills to be effective. In other words, if you want to be a leader, you have to learn to speak like a leader. Toastmasters is here to help.

I don't know of a single political candidate who couldn't benefit from Toastmasters. I suggest going to a few meetings and see what new things you can learn. There is always something you can improve on in your public speaking and presentation skills. There are many clubs in District 6. Find one near you. 

How to speak like a leader
by Michael Landrum, ATMB

Listen generously. Emerson said: “First seek to understand, then to be understood.” How do you listen to an audience? Do your research. Find out who they are, what they need and want, and what they expect from you. When you step to the lectern, pause and listen. Are they ready to hear you? During your speech, keep listening. Pay attention to them. Are they leaning forward, backward or on each other? Be willing to depart from your prepared remarks to recover your rapport with them. Ask questions. Even something as simple as “Is that clear?” can reestablish contact.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Aren’t these two phrases the same? No indeed: “Say what you mean” is about telling the truth, “Mean what you say” is about making a commitment, keeping your promise, honoring your word. Have something meaningful to say. Step to the lectern with the intention of making a difference to your audience.

Use the fewest words with the fewest syllables. I run afoul of this one all the time. It’s the main reason I rewrite so often, looking for big, two-dollar words I can swap for a single 10-cent syllable. Delete therefore, insert so. That’s real economy in writing. Remember that the basic unit of communication is not the word but the idea.

Align with your audience. We may consider it our task to speak to the audience, but it is sometimes more important to speak for them. Express those thoughts and feelings that you share with them. Even if you think they are wrong and you are the advocate of sweeping change, you must first understand and articulate their feelings. Great leaders know that leadership begins with the pronoun we.

Be specific. Use stories, anecdotes, parables and examples rather than generalities and abstractions. This is a tough one for some people. They love to wander through a topic in the abstract, scattering generalities as they go. The great teachers and speakers pepper their talks with vivid, detailed examples. “He seemed upset as he left” is general. “He blew his nose, kicked the dog and slammed the door” is specific.

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action. Don’t say “I’m glad to be here” while looking at your wristwatch. Be aware of your non-verbal communication. Your gestures, posture, facial expressions, energy, tone of voice, and a thousand other tiny, unuttered elements actually carry the true and specific meaning of your communication. We can understand the words “I love you” well enough. But their true importance, their actual meaning, is all wrapped up in how they are spoken, and by whom.

Structure your speech. One valuable way to make your talk memorable is to speak to a structure and make your listeners aware of it. Share with them the form of your thoughts as well as the content and they will be able to follow more complex ideas. It will be easier for you to remember, too. People appreciate the scenery more with a glance at the road map every now and then.

Speak to be understood. Have the courtesy to develop your voice so that all may hear you. You groom your appearance, so why not cultivate your voice? With a little effort it can be strong, crisp, clear and various in texture, color and range. It’s sad when speakers expend their energy to create a vivid, well-constructed talk and then whisper, mutter or mumble.

Speak for the benefit of others. Serve your audience well by keeping their interests foremost in your mind. This is the golden rule of speaking. As an audience member you can easily tell when a speaker is self-serving. Nothing communicates more clearly than intention.

Speak from your highest self. The highest self is where hope resides. To lead effectively requires a courageous, positive, optimistic view. As any astronaut will tell you, if you get high enough you will be in perpetual sunshine. There must be a caveat attached to this rule, however: Beware of elevating yourself with a high horse. Be humble. Having an opinion is a meager accomplishment. On most occasions a modest demeanor improves communication.

Michael Landrum, ATMB, is a speaker, coach and writer in New York.

Mission Statement

Toastmasters International is the leading movement devoted to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality. Through its member clubs, Toastmasters International helps men and women learn the arts of speaking, listening, and thinking – vital skills that promote self-actualization, enhance leadership potential, foster human understanding, and contribute to the betterment of mankind. It is basic to this mission that Toastmasters International continually expand its worldwide network of member clubs, thereby offering ever-greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from its programs.


Toastmasters International empowers people to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams. Through our member clubs, people throughout the world can improve their communication and leadership skills, and find the courage to change.


Toastmasters International’s core values are integrity, dedication to excellence, service to the member, and respect for the individual. These are values worthy of a great organization, and we believe we should incorporate them as anchor points in every decision we make. Our core values provide us with a means of not only guiding but also evaluating our operations, our planning, and our vision for the future.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


As we all know by now, Mark Dayton disclosed some very personal issues to the Star Tribune. He later agreed to an interview with MPR. Here's the interview. Listen to it and then read my take.

What I hear is a good man telling the public about some health issues that he has been dealing with. He thinks that the voters have a right to know. I admire his courage in revealing these things. Hopefully his frankness will mean that more people will understand about depression and alcoholism. These are two illnesses that affect thousands and thousands of people, yet they both remain misunderstood to a large degree. The social stigma is better than it was fifty years ago, but we still have a ways to go.

As you heard in the audio, Dayton has these medical issues completely under control with a healthy diet, daily exercise and the care of a good physician. I see no reason whatsoever why he shouldn't continue his campaign for governor of Minnesota. I believe, without any doubt, that Mark Dayton could conceivably be the best governor that Minnesota has ever had.

Mark Dayton has thirty-four years of government experience. He's well known for the generous way in which he helps others by giving of his time and his financial resources. He truly cares about Minnesota and its people. When's the last time we had a governor who has really cared? What a difference this will make from what we've had for the last twenty years.

This is a man who is concerned about the direction that Minnesota has been going. He wants to change it. He wants to give us a Better Minnesota. He knows how to do it. He knows what it takes. In his younger days, his mentors were Walter Mondale, Rudy Perpich and Paul Wellstone. His political hero was Bobby Kennedy. He has always had a soft spot in his heart for the downtrodden and underprivileged. Mark Dayton is a man who can easily associate with anyone no matter the race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender or sexual orientation. He has done so much for veterans and seniors, as well.

One of his most admirable qualities is knowing what a problem is and what to do to fix it. Dayton realized he had a health issue and sought immediate help for it. What a far better world this would be if everyone would do that. Most people deny that there is even a problem. Mark Dayton not only admitted it but sought help to fix it. He now takes his health very seriously and has embarked on a healthy routine each day in order to enjoy maximum health. It's apparent in the picture above that Mark is blooming with health and good cheer.

Please join me in voting for Mark Dayton for the next governor of Minnesota.



Tom Bakk: Most Likely to Understand Minnesota Taxes
Mark Dayton: Most Experenced
Matt Entenza: Most Unintimidating Voice
Susan Gaertner: Best Sense of Sardonic Humor
Steve Kelley: Best Direct Hit at T-Paw
Margaret Anderson Kelliher: Most Endorsements
John Marty: Best Writer
Tom Rukavina: Most Likely to Succeed
R. T. Rybak: Most Congenial
Paul Thissen: Best Ideas


Best Communicator/Presenter:
Margaret Anderson Kelliher
R. T. Rybak
Paul Thissen

Best Use of Humor:
Tom Rukavina
Susan Gaertner
Mark Dayton

Most Financially Knowledgeable Candidate:
Tom Bakk
Mark Dayton
Steve Kelley

Most Personable Candidate:
Tom Rukavina
Mark Dayton
R. T. Rybak

Best Candidate on Health Reform
John Marty
Paul Thissen

Best Candidate for Unions
Tom Rukavina
Mark Dayton

Best Progressive Candidate
Tom Rukavina
Mark Dayton
Paul Thissen

Candidate Most Like April Knight
Margaret Anderson Kelliher
R. T. Rybak
Mark Dayton

Most Likely to Support the Supporters
Paul Thissen
R. T. Rybak

Best Imagination
Matt Entenza
Susan Gaertner

Candidate Most Likely to Comment on April Knight's Blogs
Paul Thissen
R.T. Rybak
Tom Rukavina

Most Witty Candidate(Clever Understanding; Able to Get Hidden Meanings and Cryptic Messages; Able to Converse in Witticisms)
Mark Dayton
Paul Thissen

Ok, so I'm digging from the bottom of the proverbial barrel to find something to blog about during this very slow time in state politics. Don't worry, things will pick up in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, congratulations to the above winners. Expect your certificates soon.


On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my Significant Other in a consenting adult, monogamous relationship gave to me:

Twelve males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming.

Eleven pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note).

Ten melatonin deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping.

Nine persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression.

Eight economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk products from enslaved Bovine-Americans.

Seven endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands.

Six enslaved Fowl-Americans producing stolen non-human animal products.

Five golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforeced domestic incarceration.

Four hours of recorded whale songs.

Three deconstructionist poets.

Two Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses.


One Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.

--- Author Unknown

Swing Kids

Swing Kids is one of my top 25 favorite movies. Here's a few video clips.

Monday, December 28, 2009


I just ran across a great article from City Pages. Due to copyright laws, I refrained from copying and pasting it to my blog. Just click here and read it for yourself. I highly recommend it. It's Senator Mark Dayton's exit interview with City Pages. This should go on his website so everyone can see it.

Read the comments below the article, too, especially the one from the woman name Claire who was working in Washington DC at the time. She writes, I'm a Minnesotan working in DC. Let me tell you that DC needs more Mark Daytons. Someone who speaks and acts his convictions, is honest with the public, who truly works on behalf of his constituency, who isn't all consumed by power grabs and headlines and who doesn't play games. DC is only a high profile brutal game having nothing to do with serving the American public. Mark could have done anything with his life and chose public service for service sake. I admire him immensely.

This is an excellent article. Kudos to City Pages and G. R. Anderson Jr.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Let's look at pictures that show all the good things that Mark Dayton has done. This is the man who so many of us want as governor of Minnesota. These pictures say it all.

Mark taking time out of his busy schedule to ring the bell for the Salvation Army.

Mark is never too busy for kids!

Mark Dayton has always been an excellent father.

Mark Dayton has deep compassion for 9/11 victims.

Mark Dayton, hands on to help Habitat for Humanity.

Mark Dayton shows support for U. S. soldiers in Iraq.

Mark Dayton loves spending time with his sons and his dogs.

Mark Dayton loves children.

Mark Dayton demonstates the cougar for school kids.

Mark Dayton cares about sick children.

Mark Dayton helps with sandbagging during the flooding of the Red River.

Mark Dayton loves animals.

Mark Dayton cares about seniors.

Mark Dayton reads to children.

Mark Dayton cares about his siblings and father.

Mark Dayton has many, many supporters.

Mark Dayton is interested in science and technology.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Here's an overview of the good things that Mark Dayton did when he was Senator. Some of the most outstanding were his support for veterans and his voting against the Iraq War.  Here's an audio clip of his interview with Greta Cunningham of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) regarding his boycotting of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's  speech in 2006. It's one more example of how he has supported peace throughout his political career. This interview took place on July 26, 2006.

Senator Mark Dayton was the first U.S. senator to challenge the idea that The 9/11 Commission Report settled the questions of September 11, 2001. He raised an obvious point: if the timeline of air defense response as promoted in the Kean Commission's best-selling book is correct, then the timeline presented repeatedly by NORAD during the last two years was completely wrong. Yet no one at NORAD was willing to comment on their own timeline!  When the official story of 9/11 can be changed repeatedly without anyone ever being held accountable, we have no right to ever again expect honest government. Here is the transcript from Friday, July 31, 2004 at Congressional hearings on The 9/11 Commission Report.

Here's the live version:

Here's some commentary on John McCain's senility when he recently forgot that he had denied Mark Dayton an extra thirty seconds on the Senate floor back in 2002. This was when the Senate was debating whether to give President Bush authorization to go to war in Iraq. Mark Dayton delivered a passionate speech against giving Bush the authorization to use force in Iraq.


Senator Mark Dayton also had an excellent record of speaking up for human rights. Watch this video as he tells why he voted against the marriage amendment that would have banned gay marriage.

Senator Mark Dayton supported the Immigration Reform Bill. Here's his interview with MPR's Tom Crann.

*** Mark Dayton on immigration. This also has links to other issues. ***

Immigration Voting Record of Senator Mark Dayton:

2001: Cosponsored S. 1749 to increase illegal immigration with an alien tracking and identification system. Senator Dayton cosponsored the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001 to create a comprehensive alien tracking and identification system by implementing an entry-exit system with an integrated database of biometric identifiers for every visa holder. This would have greatly reduced the ability for a visa holder to overstay their visa and become an illegal alien in the U.S. This bill did not come to a vote.

2002: Voted in favor of H.R. 3525, a comprehensive alien tracking and identification system. Senator Dayton voted in favor of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2001 to significantly reduce future population growth from illegal immigration by making it much harder for temporary visa holders to stay in the country illegally after their visas expire. H.R. 3525 includes an entry-exit system and an integraded data system with biometric identifiers. H.R. 3525 passed the Senate unanimously by a vote of 97-0.

2005: Voted against amendment to add detention beds to increase interior enforcement. Senator Dayton voted against the McCain amendment to H.R. 2360 (whose main sponsor was Rep. Harold Rogers (KY)), the Department of Homeland Security Approprations Act. The McCain amendment would have increased the number of detention beds to those called for in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. The McCain amendment failed by a vote of 42 to 56 on July 14, 2005 (11:49 AM).

2005: Voted in favor of Byrd Amendment to increase interior enforcement. Senator Dayton voted in favor of the Byrd Amendment to H.R. 1268 (an emergency supplemental spending bill) to provide funding to hire 250 new immigration investigators, and 168 new immigration enforcement agents and deportation officers. The Byrd amendment also provides funds for 2,000 additional detention beds as well as funding to train the new personnel. The amendment passed 65-34 on April 20, 2005 (3:18 PM).

2006: Voted against amendment to fund immigration investigators. Senator Dayton voted against the Sessions Amendment to H.R. 5411 (whose main sponsor was Rep. Harold Rogers (KY)), the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill for 2007. The Sessions Amendment would have added $86 million for 800 additional staff to investigate immigration law violations. The amendment failed by a vote of 34 to 66 on June 13, 2006 (4:38 PM).

2006: Voted in favor of amendment to increase interior enforcement. Senator Dayton voted in favor of the Bingaman Amendment to S. 2454 to authorize grants to state, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies near the borders to assist in immigration enforcement. The Bingaman Amendment passed by a vote of 84 to 6 on April 3, 2006 (5:31 PM).

2006: Voted in favor of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006. This is a bill to increase immigration and grant amnesty to illegal aliens.

Read more about immigration at Justice for Immigrants.
Read more at Civil Rights for Immigrants.
Read Senate Bill 1033.
What happened to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007? Thie bill started out as Senate Bill 1033 in 2005. It passed the Senate but not the House.
More on Comprehensive Immigration Bills.

These websites not only explain Mark's stand on the issues, but also why he voted a particular way and what voting the opposite way would really have meant.

Mark Dayton on Abortion.

Mark Dayton on Budget and Economy.

Mark Dayton on Civil Rights.

Mark Dayton on Education.

Mark Dayton on Environment.

Mark Dayton on Foreign Policy.

Mark Dayton on Government Reform.

Mark Dayton on Health Care.

Mark Dayton on Homeland Security.

Mark Dayton on Jobs.

Mark Dayton on Principles and Values.

Mark Dayton on War and Peace.

Mark Dayton on Welfare and Poverty.


Dayton Voted No-Confidence In Rumsfeld Motion

Dayton Votes Against Katrina Committee Report

Congressional Votes Database for Mark Dayton

United States Senate Financial Disclosure Statement for 2005

Itemized Voting Record of Senator Mark Dayton

Congressional Travel Expenses

Mark Dayton's Political Experience: U.S. Senator (2001-2007), member of the Armed Services, Agriculture and Homeland Security Committees; Co-chair of Hillary Clinton's Minnesota Presidential Campaign; Minnesota State Auditor 1991-1994; Commissioner of Energy and Economic Development, 1983-1986; Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Economic Development in Perpich administration (1978); Legislative assistant to Minnesota Sen. Walter Mondale (1975).

In 1983, reelected Governor Rudy Perpich appointed Mark Dayton the Commissioner of an expanded Minnesota Department of Energy and Economic Development. During his tenure, he set up the newly created Minnesota Economic Development Authority, which offered tax and other financial incentives to businesses willing to locate or expand and create jobs in Minnesota. He also developed the Minnesota Star City Program, an initiative begun by his predecessor, which trained local officials, business owners and other community leaders throughout the state to retain existing businesses and recruit new businesses into their cities. He also organized another new program established by the legislature, under which he named the first “Enterprise Zones” in Minnesota.

Mark left state government four years later and founded the Vermilion Investment Company.
In 1990, Mark ran for State Auditor and won. He served one four-year term in a position he describes as “the Taxpayers' Watchdog.” During this time, he formed a Special Investigations Unit to uncover misuse and theft of public funds in cities, counties, townships and school districts throughout Minnesota. He also served on the boards of the state Executive Council, the state Board of Investment, the state Land Exchange Board, the Public Employees Retirement Association and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. Mark also successfully led the opposition to corporate attempts to use public pension funds to prop up their financially ailing operations.

Following his time as State Auditor, Mark co-chaired the Reelection Committee of his long-time friend, Senator Paul Wellstone, and served as its Finance Chairman. In 1997, Mark launched his own campaign for Governor of Minnesota; however, he lost in the DFL Primary to then-Attorney General Skip Humphrey.

In early 2000, Mark was eager to once again have a role in statewide politics. Early in the year, he announced his candidacy for the United States Senate seat then held by Senator Rod Grams. After hearing from hundreds of Minnesotans during his gubernatorial campaign, Mark launched a series of bus trips to Canada, funded by donated Senate salary, called the “Rx Express.” These trips continue today to provide seniors with a way to buy much-needed prescription medicines at substantially lower prices. He also created the “Healthcare Help Line,” which is in its fourth year of assisting Minnesotans with problems they have with their insurers.

In September, Mark won the DFL primary and eight weeks later was elected to the United States Senate. On January 3, 2001, he was sworn in as the 33rd Senator from Minnesota and as the 1,846th Senator in the nation's history. Source.

Keys Issues and Priorities as Governor: According to Dayton's website, his goals as governor would be to improve the state's schools and universities, provide affordable health care for everyone and restructure the state's tax system to help fund needed services such as highway maintenance and public school classrooms.

*** Senator Mark Dayton always voted his conscience. His conscience was always of the highest moral and ethical fortitude. His conscience will serve the people of Minnesota well when he is governor. ***


My Three Sons and Two Daughters-in-Law
Five Voters Plus Me = Six Voters

I spent the day today with my family. We had our Christmas at the home of my son Charles and his wife Becky. They made the dinner. We had honey-baked ham with all the trimmings. My son Justin and his wife Ruth were also there. They are home from Germany for the holidays. Although they live there much of the year, they are still Minnesota residents. Ruth is a civilian employee with the U. S. military. She's a speech pathologist for the military school. The one putting the biscuit in his mouth in the above picture is my son Marcus. He's still a Minnesota resident, as well, although he's currently working and living, at least temporarily, in Connecticut.

After the delicious dinner, we opened presents. I gave my son Charles a remote control helicopter that flies around the house. He was chasing his wife and dog with it. I got it at Brookstone at the Mall of America. He really likes it.

I got to channel surf briefly because Charles and Becky wouldn't let me help cook. Everything was almost finished anyway. I don't currently have a televison at home, so I watched the last part of Dirty Dancing and the middle part of Legends of the Fall. The latter is one of my favorite movies. No one else in my family likes it because nothing good ever happens in it. Charles said that every time you think something good is going to happen, someone else dies. That's life. I don't miss having a tv at home because I get everything I need on the internet. News, weather, comedy, movies...

After that we played two games: Pictionary and Trivia Pursuit. I prefer Pictionary, although none of us can draw very well. It's usually hilarious when we play it.

When we get together, we always have good conversation about various topics such as politics, philosophy, or whatever else comes up. Sometimes it gets pretty deep. At least none of us are Republicans. So I must have done a good job raising my sons...

Now it's back home to my whiny cat.

        Meet George. He's belongs to Charles and Becky.

             Colleen and middle son Charles

Friday, December 25, 2009



Colleen and Cousin's Wife Dorothy, circa 1974

Poems I Once Wrote


Once upon a noonday bright,
As I sat and tried to write
What had never been written before.
Suddenly there came a tapping;
Twas my fingers gently rapping,
Tapping out the rhythm of the Great American Lore.
"Tis the Muse!" cried I, "From the literary days of yore."
I wrote one chapter, then nothing more.
(February 1992)

The Writer's Life

Write, type, rewrite, submit
Rejection, dejection, aggravation
Rewrite, retype, resubmit
Rejection, depression.
Rip, tear, reorganize;
Start over again.
New idea!
Write, type, rewrite, submit,
Make changes, resubmit.
(January 26, 1996)

What I Saw

I saw a tiny spider
Crawling in the soot.
Along came a little boy
Who stomped it with his foot.

I saw a robin redbreast
Looking toward the sun.
Along came a bigger boy
Who shot it with his gun.

I saw a little village
With busy kids and moms.
Out came a group of men
Who destroyed it with their bombs.
(August 1968)

When I Look in Your Eyes

Some of us are foolish
And some were born wise.
I only see Beauty
When I look in your eyes.

You may be ugly,
And you may be fat.
But when I look in your eyes
I don't think of that.

When I look in your eyes
A mirror I see,
And in the reflection
I only see me.

I only see me
I only see me
When I look in your eyes
I only see me.
(January 1988)

Minnesota Homesick Blues

Well I lived up North where the cold winds blow
Any my heart grew just as cold as the snow;
So  I went down South tryin' to lose my blues,
But when I got to Nashville, I had the blues there too.

I thought I'd stay there anyway
And see if I could make my guitar play
To feed my famiy and pay my bills
And let me find peace up in those hills.

Goin' back to Minnesota
Where the waters are sky blue;
Goin' back, back, back to Minnesota
Where every winter I get the flu.

Well first I got ripped off for three bills,
And I caught a cold and I got the chills.
Then I got in a car accident,
And I couldn't even pay my rent.

Things got better by and by,
But I  couldn't imagine why;
That Southern talk I couldn't understand
And my heart ached for that Northern land.

Goin' back to Minnesota
Where the waters are sky blue.
Goin' back, back, back to Minnesota
Where every winter I get the flu.

One day I packed up my '68 Dodge Dart.
Nashville and I were going to part.
I headed north on the Intersate;
I was going home and I couldn't wait.

When I got to Minnesota it was thirty below.
All I could see was blowing snow.
I skidded off the road and cut up my face.
Well, I've heard that Virginia is a mighty fine place.

Goin' back to Minnesota
Where the waters are sky blue.
Goin' back, back, back to Minnesota
Where every winter I get the flu.
(October 1974)

Ode to Babysitting

Oh! The terrors of babysitting
Shock me through and through.
It's not at all how they look
But only what they do.
Today they threw their cereal
All over the floor in their room.
I was going to use the vacume cleaner
But they broke it, so I used the broom.
When I returned to the kitchen
To throw away the mess,
I looked around in horror
And said, "Oh my! Oh yuck! Oh ish!"
The video and cassette tapes
Were scattered across the floor.
The peanut butter and jelly
Were smeared all over the door.
One cat was in the refrigerator,
The other was in the oven.
I'm sure the feet of those children
Were definitely pointed and cloven.
I want to put a spell on those kids
To make them nice and good.
Then maybe they'd behave themselves
The way that children should.
Tomorrow I'll find a new job
They will pay me what I'm worth.
I'm only eighteen, but I know for sure
That I will never give birth.
(July 1967)

Just Before the Dawn

Dark is the night that through my windows peek
Just before the dawn.
And I awake reluctantly
Stifling a yawn.
The shrilling of the clock must be stopped
Just before the dawn.

Where's the coffee? Where's the tea?
Where's the Diet Coke?
I was slumbering peacefully
Just before I woke.
Now to work I must go through wind and snow,
Drinking my Diet Coke.

It's still dark outside as I trudge along
Just before the dawn.
The blizzard is raging; the ice is glazing.
All the green grass is gone.
Why must I be out in this cold weather
Just before the dawn?
(January 1983)

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Why do these ten candidates really want to be governor of Minnesota? What are their true inner motivations? They're not saying. In Toastmasters, if you don't give the Toastmaster of the Day an introduction, they get to make something up. I did ask this question of all ten candidates but did not get a response back from any of them. Since I'm home alone today on Christmas Eve, and will be tonight as well, I'm kind of bored. This is my first time ever to be all alone on Christmas Eve. (I'm not counting my whiny cat.) So here goes. The real reasons why these candidates want to be governor.

Tom Bakk - He's kind of an unknown to most of Minnesota. If he runs for governor, everyone will know who he is. Then he can write a book. Just like Jesse did.

Mark Dayton - He doesn't need the money or the fame, so his motivation must be altruistic. He has no reason to feel bad about his Senate years, but he does anyway, just cause that's the kind of guy he is. Humble and shy. And always looking out for the best interests of the people of Minnesota, whether others appreciate his good deeds or not. The media rags were not kind to him in those years. Winning the governorship and making this a truly better Minnesota is his chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his beloved Minnesotans.  His motivation is redemption.

Matt Entenza - He's hard to figure. He doesn't need the money. I think he's running so people won't call him Mr. Quam anymore.

Susan Gaertner - She wants to fully prosecute the Republicans of Minnesota. She has the law on her side. Besides, she wants to prove that she really can get it done.

Steve Kelley - He is determined to be a winner. He's got tenacity. He wants to prove he can really win. 

Margaret Anderson Kelliher - Speaker of the House, Governor of Minnesota...then what? President of the United States? I'll bet that's her motivation.

John Marty - If he is governor, he can make sure that the Minnesota Health Plan gets passed and becomes law. That's altruistic too. 

Tom Rukavina - If he becomes governor, he will grow in grace and stature. It's a big thing that he's doing. 

R. T. Rybak - I'll bet he has his eye on the presidency, too. I'll bet my life's savings.

Paul Thissen - Hmmmm...I don't know. This is a hard one. I think he really is the Roy Rogers type and really wants Minnesota to improve. What else would he want? He's already got everything else. Looks, intelligence, nice personality. He could write a book afterwards, too.


Paul Wellstone

Paul and Sheila Wellstone

Paul and Sheila Wellstone

Mark Dayton and Paul Wellstone

Senator Paul Wellstone
(July 21, 1944 to October 25, 2002)

Tribute to Senator Paul Wellstone by Senator Mark Dayton
for audio, click here

Senator Mark Dayton

             Senate Tribute to Senator Paul Wellstone

Wellstone 1990 Campaign, Part I

Wellstone 1990 Campaign, Part II

Wellstone 1990 Campaign, Part III

Paul Wellstone on Grassroots Leadership

Wellstone Action!

Neighborhood House

Twelve Years and Thirteen Days


Did all the candidates remember to send out Holiday cards to their supporters? I got mine. What a great picture. It tells me that my candidate did a great job raising his two sons. 


Here's an interesting article I ran across regarding politics in Wisconsin. It address the issue of candidates who are not rich running against candidates who are wealthy. This article is from 1988 but still relevent today in Minnesota.

The Race for Congress; Choice in Wisconsin: Rich Is (A)Evil or (B)Good

by DAVID E. ROSENBAUM, Special to the New York Times
Published: October 31, 1988

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 28— In a state that prides itself on progressive politics and clean government, Herbert Kohl, one of the wealthiest men in Wisconsin, is spending millions of his own dollars to win a seat in the United States Senate.

His opponent, Susan Engeleiter, Republican leader of the State Senate, is accusing him of trying to buy the election.

''Sometimes,'' she said as she drove along Interstate 94 to Kenosha the other day for a fund-raising event, ''I feel as if I'm up against a 40,000-pound gorilla. I mean, I might as well be running against an incumbent. If he wins, I'm afraid it means that people of ordinary means cannot run for public office.'' 

Mr. Kohl has apparently succeeded in turning that argument on its head. Several years ago he sold Kohl's, his family's chain of supermarkets and department stores, and he now owns the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, among other investments. 

He maintains that since he can afford to reject all endorsements and money from interest groups, he would be indebted to no one but those who voted for him. 

His campaign slogan: ''Nobody's senator but your own.''

Mr. Kohl, a Democrat who has never held elective office, has raised only a few hundred thousand dollars, mostly from old friends, but he has used at least $4 million of his fortune to finance what may be the most expensive television campaign any candidate ever ran in Wisconsin. He hopes to succeed William Proxmire, also a Democrat, who is retiring after 31 years in the Senate.

In a paradoxical way, Mr. Kohl has built on the pride that Wisconsin voters feel about Senator Proxmire. For years, the Senator has been perhaps the most independent-minded member of Congress, a conservative on fiscal policy and a liberal on social policy who seemed immune to all influences but his conscience.

Mr. Proxmire did not accept money from interest groups either. He did not have to. In his last campaign, six years ago, he spent a total of $145, mainly for postage and the filing fee. He won in a landslide. ''The theme of this campaign has been, Who can be the most like Bill Proxmire?'' said David Wegge, director of the St. Norbert College Survey Center, the poll taker for Wisconsin Public Radio. ''Kohl has done that by demonstrating that his wealth gives him independence.'' 

Wisconsin was one of the few states where Republicans once thought they had a good shot this year at a Senate seat now held by a Democrat, but those hopes are waning. Mrs. Engeleiter, who has raised and spent less than $2 million, says her own polls show her trailing by nine percentage points. Most independent polls put the margin at nearly twice that. 

Mr. Kohl, who is 53 years old, proposes cutting 10 percent from the Pentagon budget, spending significantly more on programs for the poor and raising the taxes of the wealthy. But he insists he is not a liberal. He says his experience in business would help him understand economic matters in Washington, and he stresses his reputation, justified even according to his critics, as a benevolent employer.

''Just because I'm rich does not mean I don't care about the problems of ordinary people,'' he says. 

Mrs. Engeleiter adopts most of the positions of the Reagan Administration on economic and foreign policy. President Reagan is coming here next week to campaign for her. But she breaks with the Administration on many social issues. She believes abortions should remain legal, for example, although she would deny Federal payments for abortions for poor women in most circumstances. 

Mrs. Engeleiter is the only woman running in a competitive Senate race this year. In her stump speeches and television commercials, she emphasizes her own family - she and her husband have a 4-year-old daughter and a -year-old son - and her concern for families generally, an unspoken allusion to the fact that Mr. Kohl is a bachelor. 

If elected, Mrs. Engeleiter, who is 36, would be not only the youngest Senator but also the first female senator ever with small children. She considers herself a feminist, but she has received almost no help from national or local women's organizations. 

Molly Yard, president of the National Organization for Women, took issue with Mrs. Engeleiter's opposition in most cases to Medicaid payments for abortions. ''We have several bottom-line questions, and if you're against us on any of them, we won't support you,'' Ms. Yard said. 

M r. Kohl is not the first candidate to use his personal fortune to finance a race for the Senate. Several sitting Senators did so, including John Heinz, Republican of Pennsylvania, Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, both Democrats. 

Great wealth does not guarantee election. For instance, Mark Dayton, heir to the Dayton-Hudson department store chain in Minnesota, spent about $5 million of his own money in 1982 and still lost to Senator Dave Durenberger, a Republican.

But many experts find the system worrisome. ''The way it works today,'' said Fred Wertheimer, president of Common Cause, the public affairs lobby, ''unless you have your own personal wealth or access to large sums of special interest money, you face an extraordinarily difficult chance of winning.''

Mr. Kohl agrees that the system should be changed, and he says he would support public financing of Congressional elections.

But as he flew in a chartered plane Friday to north-central Wisconsin for a day of campaigning, he said that this year he would spend whatever it took to get elected.

''I've never been a politician,'' he said. ''I have to spend money so people will get to know who I am. If I were some kind of a rich boob, people would not support me. But I'm not, and they see that.''  Source.