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Bacon and Eggs.  Song and Dance.  Tea and Crumpets . . . 09/17/14

Political and Fiasco?

Some word pairs just belong together.  They have a tie that makes them more than either word alone can be.

This past week I was having a discussion with a local business owner, and he used the term “the latest political fiasco”.  As we talked, it dawned on me that just about everything political is a fiasco, and conversely, just about every fiasco is political.

“Remember the Maine”
Ummm, what was she doing in Havana harbor for three weeks?  Well . . . protecting American interests. 

Right.  How? 

Was she going to bombard Havana, and sail away with American interests on her deck?  Or was she going to sit at anchor, a not-so-veiled threat, until someone screwed up and sank her?

Bay of Pigs
We wanted Castro out, but politically, we couldn’t just send a battleship to protect American interests.  So we offered Cuban counter-revolutionaries aid – financial and military – to oust him.  But when things started to go haywire, we withdrew our aid, because it would have been bad politics to get our hands dirty.  The counter-revolutionaries were squashed.  Castro’s hold on Cuba became even stronger, and the table was set for the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Cuban Embargo
We are not buying anything from Cuba, and while travelers from the United States can travel to Cuba, they are not supposed to spend any money there.  This is a political fiasco inside a political fiasco. 

Cuban cigars?  Get them in Canada or Mexico. 

Well, we showed them when we stopped buying their sugar, right?  Not really.  They found a good customer in the Soviet Union. 

Tourism?  For the most part, Americans went to Cuba for gambling and warm weather.  The weather is still the same, but the gambling in Cuba has dried up because of Castro.  There are plenty of other places in the Caribbean to gamble.  Puerto Rico alone has twenty casinos.

The biggest losers in all this are probably the average Cubans.  Castro’s hold on Cuba is/was strong enough that he could make his little brother president.

Cuba is working its way back to capitalism through a series of its own political fiascos.

Why am I writing about Cuba vis-à-vis political fiascos?  Two reasons.  First, I just watched part of a PBS Ken Burns documentary about the Roosevelts.  Teddy did some great things, but he also got a fair number of people killed because of his political ambitions.  Second, Cuba has a clear and succinct trail from the Spanish American War to today.

My point?  Do what’s right, and forget politics.

In The Basement
 Not a lot happened at the Council meeting on Monday (9/15/14).  My recap will be brief.

The most significant item, in my opinion, was the awarding of Lifesaving Medals to Firefighter Jeremy Goebel, and Officer Jeff Strack.  These two, through their fast, skillful, and persistent efforts saved the life of a Jordan resident who had suffered sudden cardiac arrest.  Fate put them close to the event, but it was their effort over a period of about 45 minutes that saved the victim’s life.  Not only the victim, but also the City owes Goebel and Strack a debt of gratitude.

We had a discussion regarding flood plain impacts.  The gist of the discussion was an update on what’s happening.  One suggestion (guess who made it) was that we should do something to prevent flood damage, rather than have homeowners pay scads of money for insurance coverage against an event that might never happen.  Every month $30,000.00 leaves Jordan for the pockets of insurance companies.  It seems to me, that money would be better spent in an effort to prevent flood damage.

Council Member Stier raised the objection that if we do something to protect against a 100 year flood, we would leave people without protection against a 500 year flood.  It would seem he has never seen the flood gates in Henderson, the channel in Chaska, or the berms in Carver.

I certainly hope he will take time to explain his views to the folks on the flood plain who had his election signs on their lawns.

The City will be offering a contract to Tom Nikunen for the position of City Administrator.  Based on his performance as interim city administrator, I think he’ll do fine.  I believe he has a much better understanding than did his predecessor, of what Jordan needs.  My only sticking point is that the City received 28 applications, and interviewed 0 other candidates.  In my opinion, I think our treatment of those candidates was kind of shabby.

The City will provide a School Resource Officer to the School District for one day per week, and up to 10 hours per week in 2015.  The School District will pay the City $10,000 in partial compensation for the service.

When I read the job description, I saw nothing in it that varied significantly from what is happening now in Jordan schools.  Please bear in mind the Jordan Police Department has a nationally recognized program of having offices in every school.  At least one School Board Member has expressed the opinion that teachers don’t want to give up class time they feel is needed to teach the classes on which their performance appraisals is based.

To me, the SRO proposal is just a waste of School District money, and a misapplication of JPD resources.  If the School District wants to teach drug awareness classes, or conduct anti-bullying programs, they certainly should.  Though I doubt they could do it for $10,000.00 per year.

I trust the JI will give a more complete picture of what happened.  Naturally, if anyone has any questions, I’ll gladly respond.  Just send me an email.

The Quote:
The only thing that stops God from sending another flood is that the first one was useless.”
Nicolas Chamfort

City Council Meeting, Monday, October 6th, 6:30 PM, at Jordan City Hall

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I welcome public comment on this topic. Anyone willing to give his or her name is welcome to respond here.
Thom.Boncher@JordanUnderGround.com   No anonymous responses will be posted.  No obscene language will be permitted.  Threats, personal attacks, and spam will not be posted.  My house, my rules.  But if you have something to say, and if you are willing to put your name on it, I won’t refuse to let you be heard.