Thursday, December 21, 2006

Post-Bulletin Reader Comment

Well it appears that our friends in the great city of Rochester have a thing or two to say about Monday's front page article featuring the rising cost of attending college and my future/current debt. Since you need a subscription ($99 per year) in order to comment on an online story at the Post-Bulletin website, its best to respond to these via Blogger because it's free which means you don't have to pay anything to attack people.

[User]195801 - 12/19/2006
"I worked 70+ hours a week during the summers and made enough to cover tuition. Pretty much a zombie for 3 months. Between that and working maybe 20 hours a week while going to school I ended up with zero debt. That was paying U of M tuition. Not to judge a book by it's cover, but that kid doesn't look like the 70+ hour a week type of guy. Quit your whining and get a job. Kids today want everything handed to them. Why not buy them cars and houses too?"
Well it looks like this person (who has graced us with their anonymity) is still stuck in their "zombie" state because if they pay any attention to today's tuition costs for a public institution in the state of Minnesota they will know that it has increased well over 50% over the past five years. Why is this though?! Could it be that the state is cutting the budgets for MnSCU and the University of Minnesota?? Naw, couldn't be...

Sorry that we're trying to get the legislature to hold to its obligation to fund state higher ed institutions with providing for 67% of the cost of instruction (MN Statute 135A.01). Right now anyone attending a MnSCU institution will know that this isn't happening, just check out your fee statement. Things are different now than when you attend the U of M back in the late 1970s.

No, I don't want everything handed to me nor do I expect everything handed to me. I want to attend a public institution and apply what I learned while obtaining my degree to improving our state and country, is that too much to ask?

Oh, sorry I didn't wear my Carhartt and Dickies for the picture because we all know that we need to dress in work clothes in order to look like we've put in a hard days work. I'll remember that blue track jackets are not proper"working clothes."

Want to read more on what others have to say on what's wrong with making college education accessible and affordable? Visit the article by click here. But remember, you need money in order to bitch properly.

Also, be sure to check out the You Bet We're in Debt website set up by the WSU Student Senate. Look for yourself and see the impact of rising tuition on Winona State students.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Someone's in debt...

This article appear on the front page lead story in the December 18, 2006 edition of the Rochester Post-Bulletin:

Debt load burdens students

By Matthew Stolle

The Post-Bulletin

When Jared Stene graduates from Winona State University, looming over his future will be something of a black cloud: a staggering student debt of $48,000.

Although the Woodbury native is considering graduate or law school, he said the pressure to begin paying down that debt might short-circuit those plans and force him to find a job immediately.

Students across the state have begun to groan under the weight of their debt load, if a Web page set up by the WSU student leaders is any indication. The page allows students to log the amount of debt they expect to incur by the time they graduate. Numbers range from $4,000 to $120,000. The total amount of accumulated debt so far at WSU: $7.7 million.

"It's really simple: This state has reneged on its commitment" to affordable higher education, said DFL Sen.-elect Ann Lynch, a Rochester legislator who will serve on the Senate Higher Education Policy and Finance division.

The growing debt load of students will be a high-profile issue during the 2007 session, which begins Jan. 3. DFLers blame Gov. Tim Pawlenty for the 50 percent hike in student tuition over the last four years, arguing that his fixation on no-new-taxes came at the expense of students' financial hides.

Pawlenty also threw himself into the debate during the election campaign, proposing free tuition for students in their first two years for students who graduate in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating classes.

Students with the Minnesota State University Student Association are asking legislators for a tuition freeze in the next biennium. But the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is shooting for something a little less ambitious: Its budget request is seeking a system-wide 4 percent tuition cap.

"It would ultimately be less (of an increase) than what we've been going through," Stene said. "It (will) keep it lower, but ultimately, we would like a freeze."

So I made the front page in Rochester, also that "lovely" picture was with the article. That's my blue steel look...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Winona County Auditor's Race Results

There has been a lot of discussion lately about my 12-hour Election Day write-in campaign for Winona County Auditor. Most questions I have been getting is how many votes did I end up getting and have I conceded the election yet? To answer the second question, yes it is official, I have conceded the race today in an email sent to the current Winona County Auditor Cherie MacLennan. Here is the email concession:

From: Jared Stene jpstene@gmail.com
Date: Nov 16, 2006 1:44 PM
Subject: Auditor Election
To: cmaclennan@co.winona.mn.us

Auditor MacLennan-

I would like to congratulate you on your recent re-election to the Winona County Auditor position. As you may or may not know there was a brief 12 hour Election Day campaign on the WSU campus for another candidate for the County Auditor position, that other candidate would be me. I would like to officially notify you that I am conceding this race. Although my campaign staff and I did not have the proper insight to file the proper write-in campaign papers, we feel that our last minute campaign generated at least 40 votes in about five different precincts including one vote in Wiscoy Township. I was inspired to run for county auditor at 8:30 am on November 7. Our campaign consisted of word of mouth, electronic notification via social networking websites, and phone calls. So again, I congratulate you on your re-election! I would of conceded earlier but wanted to take time and reflect on the matter first. Thank you and have a nice day!

Jared Stene

So as you read in the email we have no idea how many votes I got on Election Day only because there needs to be an intent to do a write-in campaign filed with the Auditor's office PRIOR to Election Day. This did not happen in the Jared Stene for Winona County Auditor's campaign. In the State of Minnesota all write-in votes are counted as "write-in" by the machines, the machines do not record who that write-in vote is for. Instead you need to file paper work so that way the election judges can count the write-in votes instead of just leaving them as "write-in."

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State's Election Reporting System website the results of the Winona County Auditor's race is as follows:

Nonpartisan CHERIE MACLENNAN 15946 99.14%
Write-In WRITE-IN** 138 0.86%
Now if you notice the write-in candidates experienced electoral domination by MacLennan. But how do we know how many votes I got? Well the real answer is that we will never know, however we can examine the results from the WSU precincts and assume that those votes were for Jared Stene.

Write-In Votes for Winona State University Area Precincts:
Ward 2 Precinct 1 (WSU West Campus): 6
Ward 2 Precinct 4 (Student Neighborhood): 8
Ward 3 Precinct 1 (WSU Main Campus): 17
Ward 3 Precinct 2 (Student Neighborhood): 9
Ward 3 Precinct 3 (WSU East Lake): 10
Wiscoy Township**: 1
TOTAL for Winona County Auditor***: 52

**Wiscoy Township is not near WSU campus, I talked with a student who is from there and voted there.

***UPDATE: I was informed by a SFP & FM reader and Jared Stene for Winona County Auditor supporter that she vote for me in Ward 2 Precinct 2. After looking into the results there I am not entirely sure if I can add the entire write-in vote total of 11 write-in votes for that precinct because I believe there is a healthy mix of students and Winona residents in that area. Most of our campaign reached out to WSU students, there was some Winona residents who supported me but the majority of the campaign was focused WSU students which is the reasoning behind selecting the WSU precincts for my projected vote count. But I have updated my total vote count from 51 to 52!

Also check out this article I found on The Onion.com: Write-In Candidate

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Electionpalooza continued....

The only candidate this blog will endorse this heated Election year is Jared Stene. That's right! I have decided to launch a last minute campaign for Winona County Auditor!

I feel the current auditor can do a better job in facilitating and promoting the Election and registration process to all of Winona County. We've been mostly running a word of mouth campaign via email, AIM, facebook, etc.

When you write in candidates for any race, make sure you fill in the oval next to the write in name. You see, I am already informing you about the voting process! Have you seen my opponent informing you on the election process? NO.

So write-in Jared Stene for Winona County Auditor, the Auditor part of the ballot is on the front page, lower right hand corner. Thank you for your support!


So I stumbled over this niffty thing MPR is offering, free election result tracking on your own blog! WOW! Why not eh?? You can view all the top races as well as races from Winona and Senate District 18 on the right.

Also if you have any questions about where to vote in Winona or need help figuring things out with same day registration feel free to call the WSU Student Senate office at 507-457-5316! Polls rides for East Lake and West Campus brought to you by: President Judith Ramaley and Admisitration! Hooray!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Why third parties will never win....

One random day in late October the Independence Party of Minnesota decided to show up on campus at Winona State Univeristy just to demonstrate why they will loose this November and every November after that.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Snickers Disappointment

The following email was sent to the Mars Company, maker of the Snickers bar, on Friday night:

-----Original Message-----
From: Stene, Jared P
Sent: Fri 10/13/06 10:41 PM
To: asksnickers@mmmars.com

Dear Mars Company-

I regretfully write this email to you this evening, because I went to enjoy a fun size bag of Snickers, and unfortunately I opened this great caramel and peanut joy in a bag only to be greeted with an empty wrapper of fun size Snickers. I feel hurt and betrayed by the Mars Company. I expected prancing nougat in a fun size but was greeted with emptiness. I hope you find my photographic evidence attached to this email as sufficient evidence to my claim. As a loyal Snickers eater for the past 21 years, I believe in the Snickers brand and their peanut goodness. But now, to be given empty wrappers when opening a fun size bag of your product I am a little flabbergasted that the Mars Company would betray me. As you can tell by the signature of my email, I serve on student government at Winona State, and I advocate for Snickers and the Mars Company on campus but after this incident I think twice about my loyalty to this company. I hope Mars Company can fix this situation and prevent other loyal Snickers fans the same despair and betrayal that I have experienced this evening. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

Jared Stene
Student Services Chair
MSUSA GOTV Facilitator
WSU Student Senate
Senate office:

I hope Mars will get back to me in a timely matter, my contact information and address was included in the email but I removed them because I am anti-stalkers.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hot Dish vs. Casserole Debate

On September 15, 2006 at 11:44 pm I submitted the following letter to the editor of the Winonan, Winona State University's student newspaper:

Dear Editor-

I regretfully write this letter with disappointment in our dining services offered at Winona State University. During the week of August 28th, I witnessed a violation of a great Minnesota tradition that has been ingrained into our state for many generations. While dining at the Jack Kane Dining Center one afternoon, I discovered that tater tot hot dish was IMPROPERLY labeled tater tot casserole. I feel that our dining service, Chartwells, has let this Minnesota university down. As a proud Minnesotan for the past 21 years, I grew up with tater tot hot dish prepared by my mother; I come to Winona State and was very disappointed at the mislabeling of this classic meal.

I have noticed however in previous years that this meal was labeled properly as tater tot hot dish. But suddenly Chartwells has flip flopped its position on the great hot dish versus casserole debate. I, for one, am agitated that Chartwells has abandoned Minnesota. I do not feel it is necessary that Chartwells, currently serving a MnSCU institution should cater to non-Minnesota food labeling. Although I do not necessarily disagree with the labeling of tater tot hot dish as casserole outside of Minnesota, I do however agree that Chartwells needs to adhere to the Minnesota traditional labeling. Some examples would include pop, drinking fountain, duck duck grey duck and of course our beloved hot dish. So Chartwells, on behalf of all Minnesotans: please stop violating our food traditions and adhere to tater tot hot dish.

Jared Stene
Political Science/Public Admin Major

Please feel free to add your own commentary to this hot topic debate by submitting your own letter to the editor to the Winonan. The Winonan will accept letters up to 400 words, students of WSU must include their year in school, major and phone number. Non-students are welcome to submit letters as well, they must include name, address, and phone number upon submission. Anonymous letters are not accepted. I'll post the link to the actual published letter once the Winonan comes out on Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Next Year's Major Issue

After serving on Student Senate for the past year and re-elected to serve next year I come across issues from time to time that keep me up at night. But as you can tell by the lack of updating on this blog that I've been really concerned about this particular issue and it has made its way to the top of my list of concerns. This summer many WSU students will be able to replace their current laptops for more advanced and updated laptops that feature "dual processing." Sounds pretty cool right? WRONG. The advanced technology might be overwhelming and one day may turn against us. I believe that once these new laptops become available to WSU there will be a tragic error in the system, one that will spark these new machines to spawn into lethal robots. Think about it! Why would someone need dual processing? It would be one processor for the laptop and the extra one for the robot. So I have spent an afternoon preparing a photo of what these laptop robots would look like and illustrate the type of damage these cruel bastards are capable of.

The cold eyes of next year's enemy...

Trained to kill and destroy all in its path until WSU is no more.

The chaos and destruction caused by the laptop robots, these things will need more than just a simple Ctrl+Alt+Delete to get rid of. So I hope that you will survive and I will see you at Mugby when the dust eventually settles.

Little Known Fact about Jared:
I listen to MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) from time to time to catch up on my news and the issues of the day. But I copied this off of the live stream a couple weeks ago of and decided to share this interesting conversation with all of you that made the airways of MPR. It features a baker from Lewiston by the name of Ryan Schweety sharing his fun and delicious dishes!

Ever curious on how I would run my own country?! Then visit the country profile of Jaredazigstan on NationStates.net. NationStates.net is a free game where you can create your own country and handle different issues as they come up, check Jaredazigstan often for new issues are daily and the country is rapidly growing!

"I'm honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein." -Washington, D.C., May 25, 2004

Friday, December 23, 2005


Happy Festivus everyone!

Really sorry for not posting anything this past semester, things have been pretty busy. I do intend to post more stuff over break. But for now, let's all enjoy Festivus today. If you're in my neck of the woods today (December 23), there will be a Festivus Celebration at the Noodles and Company, call me or email me for more details. Not sure what festivus is? Check this out:FESTIVUS.

I found this on the hood of my car in the parking lot of Boarders on Sunday evening:

It contains records dating back to 2000 of gas purchases, mileage, and the price of gas at the time of purchase. The hand writing looks to be that of an old lady, then in the back part of the note pad there is children's writing. Ask your grandma if she is missing anything.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Lake City Address

On October 25, 2005 the following speech was given to Mr. Luke LeFebvre's Communication Studies 191: Introduction to Public Speaking 9:30 am class. For his persuasive speech, Mr. Jared Stene of Woodbury, MN addressed his class of approximately 20 students about the need for a 24 hour water skiing plan in Lake City, MN. The speech was held in Stark Hall Room B6 at Winona State University and ran 6 minutes and 56 seconds, just four seconds short of the 7 minute time limit.

The Lake City Address

H.L. Mencken once said that "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."

Today I will discuss something that is taking place just north of Winona that will make you ashamed of local government and a proposal that will improve life for all.

The City of Lake City, MN needs a 24 hour water skiing program in order to validate their claim as the "birthplace of water skiing." A 24 hour water skiing plan will not only validate the city's claim but also serve as a tourist attraction that will provide the city with increased tourism, a healthier population and it will strengthen Lake City's cultural identity. Before we discuss the plan let's talk about the history of Lake City and where it is today.

In 1922 Ralph Samuelson invented water skiing on Lake Pepin in Lake City, MN. It is because of this Lake City claims to be the "birthplace of water skiing."

This photograph taken in Downtown Lake City serves as proof to the city's claim.

As does this photograph.

The problem is that often times one can not find water skiers on Lake Pepin. As you can see by this photograph, there are no water skiers to be found. None.

Here's another angle of Lake Pepin, still there are no water skiers in view.

As a concerned citizen of Minnesota I decided to submit the following proposal to the government of Lake City that calls for 24 hour water skiing on Lake Pepin.

Being that there is 8,760 hours in a year and the population of Lake City according to the 2000 U.S. Census is 4,950 people; it would be required that each citizen 16 years of age and older would have to water ski a minimum of two hours a year in order to maintain a 24 hour presence on Lake Pepin.

Citizens unable to water ski due to physical disabilities or old age will not be required to water ski and instead will be replaced by volunteers who are under 16 years of age and other water skiing enthusiasts. For the evening hours, flood lights would be place on the shores of Lake Pepin. In the winter months of the year there are two options to maintain a 24 hour water skiing presence on Lake Pepin. The first option is to cut a hole in the ice near a specific location near shore. The second option would be to use a snow mobile to tow the skier on top of the ice, this would be acceptable due to the fact that ice is the solid form of water. A city employee of Lake City will drive the city owned water skiing boat. Now that we've examined the details of the proposal and Lake City's current situation, let's discuss some benefits of this plan.

The tourism in Lake City would improve because of this plan. According to the journal Canadian Geographer, a community based tourism program improved Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan's economy and tourism numbers. This is proof that the 24 hour water skiing program, to be considered a community based tourism program will improve Lake City's economy and tourism as it did in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

This plan will improve the health of citizens in Lake City. Water skiing is an activity that will improve various muscle groups and control weight gain according to American Fitness. The 24 hour water skiing program will improve Lake City's population overall health and wellness being that water skiing is recognized as a weight control activity.

Finally, this plan will help validate Lake City's claim as the "birthplace of water skiing." According to the American Heritage Dictionary , the definition of validate is to substantiate or verify. According to that same dictionary the definition of substantiate is the following: to support with proof or evidence; to give material form to; or to make real or actual.

The 24 hour water skiing program in Lake City, MN will not only validate the claim as "birthplace of water skiing" but it will substantiate it as well according to the American Heritage Dictionary . Now that we've discussed the benefits of this plan, let's examine an example of one local government validating their claims and Lake City's current actions with this proposal.

New Salem, North Dakota is located in western North Dakota and is a prime example of local government's validating their claims. New Salem's claim is that it is the "Home of the World's Largest Holstein Cow." New Salem's claim is validated by a 38 foot tall statue of a Holstein cow that resides on top of a hill outside of the city.

As you can see by this photograph, I personally went to New Salem in the Summer of 2005 to verify the existence of this statue and New Salem's claim. The physical existence of this statue validates and substantiates New Salem's claim of "Home of World's Largest Holstein Cow." This is something that Lake City is failing to do right now.

The government of Lake City is actually considering this proposal.

In a letter to addressed to me and see by this photograph, Lake City City Administrator Ron Johnson stated that "I am forwarding your letter to our local chamber of commerce for their review."

The definition of consider is to take into account. By forwarding this proposal to the chamber of commerce, the City of Lake City has started the formal government process of adopting policy and therefore this is regarded as taking this plan into account or considering it.

Lake City, MN needs a 24 hour water skiing plan in order to validate their claim as the "birthplace of water skiing." The proposed 24 hour water skiing plan will not only validate their claim, improve the economy and tourism, and make citizens healthier but it will also follow the example of New Salem, ND in validating claims.

This proposal is actually to benefit the youth of Lake City. One morning a child will wake up in Lake City and will no longer be ashamed of his government for he will look towards Lake Pepin and will see someone constantly water skiing. Then that child will be able to say to himself, "We're the birthplace of water skiing, and we're damn proud of it."

Thank you.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Dude, what happened?

So many have been asking, what happened to Stick Figure Pirates & Flying Monkeys? Well just to reassure people, no I have not forgotten about the blog and no I do not intend on shutting it down, just simply haven't had sufficient resources to produce an entry. Resources such as:


Now I've tried to master the art of making my own coffee here in the dorm but a lot of attempts ended up like this:

But how could this be?! A person who has been enjoying coffee practically on a daily basis since his high school years couldn't make a decent pot of coffee to save his life?! This is what my coffee ended up tasting like:

SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: The consumption of diarrhea can be hazardous to your health.

So this has been the reason as to why there has not been anything new for the past 6 or 7 weeks, but there will be more to come very soon!

LAKE CITY WATERSKIING ISSUE UPDATE: I will be giving my persuasive speech for Intro to Public Speaking on the hot button Lake City Water Skiing Issue on October 25 or 27. Although this is not technically open to the public, I will however post my speech on here. You can view the original Lake City letter by clicking here. You can also view their response here. It's important to hold city governments accountable to their claims, and it's starts in Lake City, MN......

Here's a cool game I found!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Spitting Hicks, Billy Idol, and Oh Crap! College Started

"I piss over Rhode Island." -Sam Portz, June 22, 2005 at Caribou Coffee

What a good quote to start this school year off with! That quote has been in my wallet on a piece of paper for the past couple of months. Speaking of Sam Portz, he took the pictures of Vanilla Rumble which was held on July 17. Finally they are up for people to see on my Yahoo Photos area. Vanilla Rumble Pictures.

Here's a story for the whole family, so the Stene-Mobile got an unwanted addition to the paint job. On a Friday evening during rush hour my mother and I had to run to downtown St. Paul to do an errand. After I was done dropping something off I got back into the Stene-Mobile and my mother started to drive to the end of the block and turn onto a one-way street. Meanwhile a man started to walk in the cross walk ahead of us while the Stene-Mobile had a green light, which is pretty common these days to play pedestrian dodge person. But what happened now was that this man, who we shall reference as "Mr. Hick Dude," decided to stand in the middle of the cross walk in front of the lane and not move. As a result the Stene-Mobile was forced to stop in front of Mr. Hick Dude, now Mr. Hick Dude was standing and looking around at various St. Paul things and ignore our car. Fustrated by this my mother started asking Mr. Hick Man to move, but she was still inside the Stene-Mobile. After he was not responsive to this request and still ignoring the poor Stene-Mobile, I then decided to roll down the passenger window and lean out of the window to say, "Hey Buddy! Can you please move for us?!"

Mr. Hick Dude then snapped to look at the Stene-Mobile with an angry look and decided to give us the middle finger. Please refer to the picture on the left for a reference to the middle finger. Commonly called "The Bird" "Flipping Someone Off" or "The California Howdy" according the hit 1993 movie The Beverly Hillbillies starring Diedrich Bader.

While walking away from the Stene-Mobile with his middle finger still displayed proudly for all to see, Mr. Hick Dude then decided to spit a large piece of hick-like saliva at the Stene-Mobile. Finally, he was out of the way for the Stene-Mobile to proceed on its way. As my mother turned the car, and myself in shock over what has just happen, she decided to vocally express herself about what just happened.

"WELL, FUCK YOU BACK!!!" my mom proudly stated to Mr. Hick Dude. After the Stene-Mobile was well away from the scene of the horrific event, I was still in shock over what happened. So if anyone is in the downtown St. Paul area and spots a man who looks like the rocker Andrew WK but with red hair and a little bit more chunkier, please kindly ask the him to stop spitting on the Stene-Mobile because its just not nice.

A few days later though, luck for me changed when on the way to work I found this on the ground of a Grand Ave. gas station in St. Paul:

A BILLY IDOL CASSETTE TAPE!! After wiping away the morning dew off of the case it still worked in the Stene-Mobile tape player. But now being that I am back at college I no longer have the resources to enjoy great hits such as "Rebel Yell" and "Eyes Without A Face."

After an eventful summer of doing various activities like drinking coffee, having lightsaber battles (seen in photo), and working as a temp at Wells Fargo and Brown College, I returned to Winona State to continue doing college-like things. For example, walking in the St. Charles Gladiola Days Parade last Sunday with the Winona County DFL for College Democrats. St. Charles is located about 30 miles west of Winona, where Rick and I found out that Democrats are not quite favored in this area of Minnesota. Let's just say that silence isn't really a sign of being well accepted by a large crowd. But all that matters in the end, is that someone out there can do a cartwheel with a toy lightsaber as well as lift an outdoor table!

Not entirely sure who that is?! Why it's Matt Dunn! He's seen here in this undated file photo. Oh and don't forget the band that decided to name themselves Matt Dunn.

BUSH: "First of all, Cinco de Mayo is not the independence day. That's dieciseis de Septiembre, and..."
MATTHEWS: "What's that in English?"
BUSH: "Fifteenth of September." [Dieciseis de Septiembre = September 16]
-Hardball with Chris Matthews, MSNBC; May 31, 2000

Links of the Day:
This is the website of a guy who decided to tattoo his entire body with Disney characters. I honestly have no words to describe that, wow.

Are you a really cool person that drinks a lot of caffeine like I do?! Well you can figure out how much of your favorite caffeine drink can kill you in one sitting. Death-by-Caffeine. Don't actually try this though!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Just hold on.....

Things have been really busy lately. Right now I'm finishing up work as a temp at Brown College in Mendota Heights, Rick and I are starting to get College Dems up and running, and of course there is that crazy hick guy in downtown St. Paul who decided to spit on our car....

I move back to Winona State on August 22, and on that week there should be plenty of updates and stuff from the summer. Sorry for not updating as much! In the mean time...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

M.I.A.: Power Cord

I have survived Red State Penetration Mission 2005. I have journeyed to Dickinson, ND and back and live today to tell the tale. But unfortunately I have a serious situation, as of right now the power cord to my laptop is Missing In Action or for you military types "MIA." It is because of this I can not blog a lot until my power cord comes back. The good news is that today my letter to the editor of The Dickinson Press was finally published for all of western North Dakota to see. I am told though that people do tend to respond to other peoples letters from time to time. So over the next few days I need to check The Dickinson Press for any potential fall out. Here is my letter to the editor of The Dickinson Press:
7-5-05 letter -- Bush needs a mainstream nominee
Tuesday, July 05, 2005

To the editor:

With the recent retirement of Justice O'Connor from the Supreme Court of the United States, it is important that President Bush appoints a main stream judge to serve on the bench.

The main reason for this would be to prevent another "nuclear option" showdown in the United States Senate. If President Bush were to appoint a right-wing judge to the court, Democrats would have no option but to filibuster the nomination, much like we are seeing today with the nomination of John Bolton to the United Nations ambassador position.

This filibuster and possible use of the "nuclear option" by Senate Republicans would do nothing but harm the country and prevent the Senate from doing its job of serving the people.

So what should President Bush do right now? I think the best thing he needs to do is to start a dialogue with not only his Republican counterparts in the Senate, but also with Democratic leaders as well, to formulate a good and steady nomination of a mainstream judge back to the Supreme Court.

If Bush were to not work with the Democrats, then the Senate is at risk of shutting down, which will do nothing but hurt the country and prevent federal money for issues that matter such as education, health care and veteran's benefits.

We should take a lesson from our neighbors to the east in Minnesota, where they are experiencing a state-wide government shut down as a result of partisan bickering and non-cooperation. This bickering and non-cooperation can happen in the Senate only if the President decides not to work with Democrats.

So President Bush, it is time to start working and reaching out to Democrats and start working together in order to prevent the Senate shutting down and achieving its main goal, serving the people of this country.

Jared Stene

Note: In order to increase my chances of being published thus completing my mission objective, I signed and wrote the letter as a citizen of Dickinson, North Dakota. Which at one point I technically was a few years ago when I stayed in North Dakota for a number of weeks.

Haven't been to North Dakota before?! Wondering what's out there?! Take a look:

Farm land that is preventing all of those strip malls and Starbucks developing. Man where did the good old days of urban sprawl go?Posted by Picasa

Adventures in New Salem, ND:

World's Largest Cow: Salem SuePosted by Picasa

Jared trying to milk the World's Largest Cow, and nothing came out.Posted by Picasa

More Red State Penetration Mission 2005 adventures/updates when my power cord returns from MIA status.