Archive for November, 2012

The Indiana Tollroad is an Embarrassment

Posted in Life in the Country on 27, November 2012 by nathanbusch

I had an opportunity to travel Interstate 90 across part of Minnesota, Interstate 35 to Des Moines, Iowa, and Interstate 80 east across half of Iowa, all of Illinois, and Indiana.

The aforementioned interstate highways, except the Indiana Tollroad, were above average in parts and excellent in the remainder. Whilst traveling across the entirety of Illinois on Interstate 80 and to Des Moines on Interstate 80, I did not detect one single pothole or significant bump in the road. The roadsides were well groomed and the shoulders of the road were well maintained, well groomed, and safe for use. For the Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota portion of the trip, I found the rest stops to be devoid of vulgar commercialism, well maintained, and the landscaping of pleasant quality and nature. The toilets were clean and maintained. In one rest stop just outside of Davenport, Iowa, I saw a custodian waxing the floor of the toilets with a buffer. I could not find a single speck of dust in the entire building, the windows were clean, and the air was breathable. From the Illinois-Indiana border to the Minnesota-South Dakota border, I did not have to pay a single penny in tolls.

The Indiana Tollroad was shocking in contrast. Immediately upon crossing the Illinois-Indiana border, I had to slow my speed from a nice 70 miles per hour to less than thirty hours per hour because of the extremely poor quality of the road surface. Even at 30 miles per hour, I feared that a king pin would be sheared because the potholes were of such high number that it was impossible to miss these. For the duration of the trip on Interstate 80 in Indiana, the road surface was badly broken, repairs had been done in such a shoddy manner that the shock absorbers could not smooth the ride, the shoulder of the road was broken and unsafe, and the roadside was poorly maintained. I even witnessed a crew removing some tree limbs from the side of the road by throwing these over the fence onto the land of a homeowner.

The rest stops are, shall we say, from hell. Upon entry, I found the parking entrance road to be badly potholed, the pavement seriously cracked, and the parking lot had not, apparently, been maintained in many years. Then I found the restrooms. These are designed with two sets of lavatories: each equipped with a metal gate that can be closed to allow cleaning whilst the other is open to the public. I observed that: in each rest stop, I had to stop frequently as I had a considerable amount of tea to drink before starting and the road was so bumpy that I quickly became miserable, the gates were hanging at odd angles and badly broken. I attended in the course of the afternoon and there was not a single custodian in sight. I observed that the gated lavatories had, apparently, not been cleaned in a very long time. In the parts that were open, the urinals were over flowing with urine, which then flowed across the floor and collected into pools. The toilet seats were badly broken and the toilets overflowing with feces. The doors to the toilets were broken and would not close, the sinks were filthy, the water for the faucets ran at a bare trickle, and there was no soap in the soap dispensers and the hand dryers did not work. Each rest stop was sure to have a McDonalds and low-life vendors hawking their wares. One could not enjoy the view through the windows since these were smeared with grease and the outside had not, evidently, been cleaned since Methuselah was a teen-ager. Nowhere was there any place outside to comfortably sit or to walk around, except on the parking lot where the safety of one would be endangered by the speeding traffic.

What, then, is the difference between the Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota interstate highways and Interstate 80 in Indiana? A number of years ago, the republicans in Indiana decided to “sell” Interstate 80 on a 99 year lease to a private company based in Australia for $4 billion to balance the state budget. On top of that, if an emergency occurs on Interstate 80, local emergency systems are called to manage the problem as the State of Indiana will not provide emergency services. Of course, the local governmental entities must foot the bill for such services with an increase in local taxes. As has happened in too many cases, the company pockets the money and the public infrastructure and service is degraded to that of a third-world country. So much for the benefits of “privatization” of public utilities, infrastructure, and services.

When will the republicans ever learn that their ideology simply does not work?

Nathan A. Busch

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Count 19

Posted in Life in the Country on 9, November 2012 by nathanbusch

He is old now, sitting, weakened eyes gazing out to catch sight of something far off.

Perhaps the memory plagues him still, not letting him forget.

My brother died a year ago April; maybe he seeks forgiveness in a world that will not.

It was not always that way; his hands were strong and hardened with labour; his arms of only bone, sinew and muscle could wield a mighty maul as a child would a rattle.

The weapon bore a shaft that fit perfectly in the hand as did the handle of the hammer; tapered so that the grip could not be lost.

The sweep of the weapon was clear for the full range.

The beam in the cellar held the tally for each that would never be erased.

The weapon was an inch by four; solid oak that could not bend.

One: the silence of death was all that there was.

Two: the heart was in the ears.

Three: never has such a sound ever been heard.

Four: the echo of the strike was in the attic.

Five: satan was silenced.

Six: no word could come to stop the next as the breath had gone;

Seven: blood vessels crushed.

Eight: muscle now congealed blood.

Nine: struck mid back crushing bone.

Ten: ribs broken.

Eleven: hands trying to protect took the full impact.

Twelve: oak broke over muscle and bone that was no longer.

Thirteen: new oak, stronger, harder swings, anger, hatred.

Fourteen: no more please.

Fifteen: a slice through mind never to mend.

Sixteen: legs fail, yet more blows.

Seventeen: yesterday, it was, the ears can hear.

Eighteen: words are gone, fingers silenced.

Nineteen: time is still, mercy a lie.

My brother said nineteen and that was the count.

Coach let him stay in the locker room during the rally for the football game as he could not sit and could not stand.

The sin for the tally was simple: one mark for each letter missed in each word on a spelling quiz so many years before.

He left for the army before the tally was erased.

He went to his grave before the debt was paid.

He is old now and sits there still, trying to remember that it did not happen.

My heart remains in fear.

Nathan A. Busch

Governor Dayton Appoints Christina Wietzema to Fifth Judicial District

Posted in Life in the Country on 2, November 2012 by nathanbusch

On 23rd October 2012, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointment of Christina Wietzema as District Court Judge in the Fifth Judicial District. Ms. Wietzema will replace the Honorable Bruce F. Gross who retired on 3rd August 2012 but is still serving as the judge whilst his replacement is seated. Judge Gross served as the judge on the bench of the District Court for the County of Cottonwood for 23 years. Now that he has retired, the Fifth Judicial District has moved to merge the judgeship of the District Court for the County of Cottonwood with the District Court for the County of Murray. That the District Court did so raises important issues under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; however, those issues will not be addressed in this post. The seat of Judge Wietzema will be chambered in both Cottonwood County and Murray County.

Before her appointment, Ms. Wietzema worked as an Assistant Public Defender for the Fifth Judicial District where she represented indigent clients in all areas of public defense. As an Assistant Public Defender, her office was in Trimont, Minnesota, and she had her residence in Worthington, Minnesota, which is in Nobles County approximately 35 miles south of Windom, the county seat of Cottonwood County, and approximately 60 miles southeast of Slayton, the county seat of Murray County. Prior to becoming an Assistant Public Defender, Ms. Wietzema represented clients in family law, real property and criminal law as an associate attorney with Bernardy & Scholl. Wietzema is a member of the Rock Nobles Community Corrections Advisory Board and is a volunteer mock trial judge.

The Fifth Judicial District is comprised of the counties of Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock and Watonwan.

Time for Shane Whittle to become Honest

Posted in Internet Frauds and SCAMS on 2, November 2012 by nathanbusch

Dave and my audience:

I posted this reply to Dave under John Bell, 2nd March 2012. It seemed to be a shame that it was buried amongst the comment section of a post from that date. Since it is meant to be both a message of caution to anyone even thinking about following the recommendations of “John Bell” and an appeal to Mr. Shane Whittle, I thought it should be given prominence as a post rather than as a reply to a comment. I thank my audience for your patience and understanding.

Our mysterious “John Bell” is becoming somewhat boring. It seems that TFER was such a flop the first time around that he and the insiders at TFER had to try again so that they could dump their shares at a handsome profit. This time around appears to be no better than the first. Perhaps it is time for Mr. Shane Whittle and the other SCAMsters to use their brilliance and considerable skill to make money by honest engagement in the stock market. Since these people have such a deep understanding of reverse mergers, corporate law, securities law, finance law, and deep roots in the community of wealthy individuals, perhaps they would be best served if they were to assist honest companies, with a real and solid financial foundation and a genuine business plan, wanting to go public to do so without the considerable expense of doing an original IPO. If they did so, they could build a solid reputation in the nano-cap and micro-cap investment community. The result would be a considerable amount of coin in their pockets without having to constantly look over their shoulder to see if the SEC man is after them.

So, Shane and “John,” since I strongly suspect that you read this blog, what do you say about working to do good in the world, make an honest and very profitable living, and staying out of federal prison?

I hope this helps.

Nathan A. Busch