Minneapolis condo king embraces downtown's east side
Jim Stanton, one of the most profilic housing developers in the city, says he’s ready to build his second postrecession condominium project -- and he’s heading to the east side of downtown again. Stanton recently bought a quarter of a city block in the Elliot Park neighborhood, near the Downtown East development and new Vikings stadium that are both under construction. Those projects weren’t the only catalysts for his, Stanton said. “It didn’t play into my decision, but it won’t hurt,” he said Thursday. “Downtown East has finally come alive.” His preliminary plans call for a tower of approximately 15 floors and up to 110 units. The site, at the corner of 8th Street and Portland Avenue S., is a weed-strewn lot adjacent to the Sexton Lofts, a warehouse building that was converted to living spaces during the worst of the housing crash. Stanton hopes to start construction this fall but has yet to submit plans to city and neighborhood groups.Comment: Location
Minnesota high school grad and terror supporter killed in Syria
A Twin Cities high school graduate who later moved to San Diego was killed in Syria in recent days, according to family members who had been concerned about his expressions of support of the Islamic State terror organization. Kenyata McCain and another first cousin said Tuesday that Douglas McArthur McCain’s mother received a call Monday from the State Department reporting that her son was killed over the weekend in Syria. Douglas McCain, 33, had lived in San Diego in recent years and was a 1999 graduate of Robbinsdale Cooper High School, said the cousins, who both live in the Twin Cities and are roughly his age. NBC News first reported Douglas McCain’s death and said he was fighting on behalf of the Islamic State. The network attributed its information to the Free Syrian Army. Kenyata McCain said she was in touch with Douglas McCain as recently as Friday, and “he was telling all of us he was in Turkey.” She noted that his Facebook page had a posting that “said ISIS and he was in support of it.” “I know that he had strong Muslim beliefs,” she added, “but I didn’t know that he was in support of ISIS. I didn’t think he would be.”Douglas McAuthur McCain Wasn't Alone, More Americans Fighting With Extremists: Officials
Douglas McAuthur McCain, of San Diego, California, was killed over the weekend fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), according to the Free Syrian Army. Photos of McCain's passport and of his body -- which feature a distinctive neck tattoo -- have been seen by NBC News. According to an activist linked to the Free Syrian Army who also saw the body and travel document, McCain was among three foreign jihadis fighting with ISIS who died during the battle. Senior administration officials told NBC News they were aware that McCain was killed in Syria, adding that they believe dozens of Americans have gone there to fight with extremist groups - including, but not limited to, ISIS. "The threat we are most concerned about to the homeland is that of fighters like this returning to the U.S. and committing acts of terrorism," a senior administration official told NBC News. NBC News has contacted several members of McCain’s family and dozens of friends – including his mother, sister, aunts and cousins. A woman who said she was McCain's aunt confirmed that he had "passed" and referred calls to McCain’s mother.
Comment: A peer of my two sons'
I got the phone call at 2 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2004. It was my oldest daughter. She said you need to come to the hospital right away, Michael’s been shot by the police. My first gut reaction was, “Michael doesn’t do anything serious enough to get shot by a police officer.” I thought he’d gotten shot in the leg or whatever. When I arrived, I saw the district attorney huddled with about five police officers. The last time I saw my son alive he was on a gurney, with his head wrapped in a big towel and blood coming out of it. I learned that an officer had put his gun up directly to Michael’s right temple and misfired, then did it again, and shot him. From the beginning I cautioned patience, though Michael’s mother and sister were in an uproar. They had watched him get shot. But as an Air Force officer and pilot I knew the way safety investigations are conducted, and I was thinking that this was going to be conducted this way. Yet within 48 hours I got the message: The police had cleared themselves of all wrongdoing. In 48 hours! They hadn’t even taken statements from several eyewitnesses. Crime lab reports showed that my son’s DNA or fingerprints were not on any gun or holster, even though one of the police officers involved in Michael’s shooting had claimed that Michael had grabbed his gun.Comment: On the pros and cons of police cameras . This is not about the Ferguson case. My contention is that we need the police to be accountable to the community and that police homicides should be independently (and of course who's really independent!) investigated. The gun should be the last resort!
Burger King is working on a whopper of a business deal. The burger chain is in talks with Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons about merging, a plan that, if accomplished, would create the world's third-largest fast food restaurant company, with more than 18,000 outlets in 100 countries and about $22 billion in system sales, the companies said in a statement. Shares of Burger King (BKW) surge 23% in afternoon trading on the news that the companies were looking to create a new, publicly traded company headquartered in Canada. With a new base in Canada, Burger King, now based in Miami, could shave its U.S. tax bill. Tax inversions have become increasingly popular among U.S. companies trying to cut costs. In an inversion, a U.S. company reorganizes in a country with a lower tax rate by acquiring or merging with a company there. Inversions allow companies to transfer money earned overseas to the parent company without paying additional U.S. taxes. That money can be used to reinvest in the business or to fund dividends and buybacks, among other things.One Way to Fix the Corporate Tax: Repeal It
“Some people are calling these companies ‘corporate deserters.’ ” That is what President Obama said last month about the recent wave of tax inversions sweeping across corporate America, and he did not disagree with the description. But are our nation’s business leaders really so unpatriotic? A tax inversion occurs when an American company merges with a foreign one and, in the process, reincorporates abroad. Such mergers have many motives, but often one of them is to take advantage of the more favorable tax treatment offered by some other nations. Such tax inversions mean less money for the United States Treasury. As a result, the rest of us end up either paying higher taxes to support the government or enjoying fewer government services. So the president has good reason to be concerned. Yet demonizing the companies and their executives is the wrong response. A corporate chief who arranges a merger that increases the company’s after-tax profit is doing his or her job. To forgo that opportunity would be failing to act as a responsible fiduciary for shareholders. Of course, we all have a responsibility to pay what we owe in taxes. But no one has a responsibility to pay more. The great 20th-century jurist Learned Hand — who, by the way, has one of the best names in legal history — expressed the principle this way: “Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.” If tax inversions are a problem, as arguably they are, the blame lies not with business leaders who are doing their best to do their jobs, but rather with the lawmakers who have failed to do the same. The writers of the tax code have given us a system that is deeply flawed in many ways, especially as it applies to businesses. The most obvious problem is that the corporate tax rate in the United States is about twice the average rate in Europe. National tax systems differ along many dimensions, making international comparisons difficult and controversial. Yet simply cutting the rate to be more in line with norms abroad would do a lot to stoaap inversions.Comment: A close relative is changing their tax domicile from Minnesota to Florida just to save on state income taxes and to eliminate inheritance taxes.
S&P 500 sets record close on signs of healthier economy
Comment: Prediction .... tomorrow will be pull back on profit taking
Do you really need a 'best friend' at work?
... it being a Gallup copyrighted question, we have a few good reasons. 1. Even on basic grammar considerations it isn't that great a question. The question consists of the following statement which is accompanied by an agreement scale: 'I have a best friend at work' Does it mean my best friend works with me? Or does it mean that I have a colleague who I like more than other colleagues who I would consider a friend? Or does it mean I can identify anyone as being more friendly than my other colleagues? Many people tell us they have a 'good', 'close' or even 'totally awesome' friend at work, but 'best friend' is often described as confusingComment: The YouTube version of the above:
Comment: I sleep with my best friend at work (wife works with me). In our Q12 meetings this does not get a laugh
Google Maps Has Been Tracking Your Every Move, And There’s A Website To Prove It
Comment: We've been doing this commute for 18 years. We have tried multiple options and this route is the shortest and easiest.
Sharks and Islamists: Equally Misunderstood?
Almost every shark program follows the same pattern: the large predators are portrayed in all their grandeur, roaming the seas. Then we hear of several anecdotes of shark attacks on humans, often with the survivors recounting their experiences. The prevalent theme is this: it’s not the shark’s fault that it attacked and maimed this or that surfer, swimmier, or kayaker. Rather, humans are responsible for entering the shark’s domain, the ocean. If anything, then, it’s the human’s fault for getting attacked. Even great whites, so we are assured, attack humans only by mistake. Finally we get the speech about how sharks are in fact the ones being mistreated by humans, etc. To those familiar with the way liberal talking heads constantly whitewash the violence and intolerance of Islam, does this not all sound familiar? From the notion that “it’s our fault” we got attacked, and we “had it coming,” to the idea that we need to be more “understanding and respectful,” the “progressive” memes are all there. Similarly, two types of survivors often recount their experiences. Most explain how they do not at all blame the shark that attacked them; more magnanimously, others say that since they lost this or that appendage, they have dedicated their lives to protecting sharks. The second, more atypical kind of survivors openly demonize sharks and come off less “enlightened.” Such was this one Australian survivor I watched, who seemed the quintessential “hillbilly” – missing teeth and all. He appeared on one of the programs, emphatically declaring that all sharks are “evil.” In other words, he was something of an ignorant, bigoted “sharkophobe.”
... the point here is that this business of always apologizing for Islamic violence, insisting that it is some sort of misunderstanding, which “enlightened” Western persons should be patient of if not completely overlook, has so penetrated society that it has metastasized to almost anything and everything that is potentially dangerous, including ravenous sharks. Nor does the analogy end here. When Western liberals hold Muslims to a lower standard than the rest of humanity – ignoring the beheadings, massacres, rapes, enslavements, and church burnings habitually committed by the likes of the Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, et al. – are they not, in essence, placing such Muslims on a “subhuman” level? Are they not placing them on the level of wild animals – sharks, for instance – that are not responsible for their actions? In the end, however, the shark analogy fails. After all, sharks attack and kill for survival – like all carnivores – whereas the Islamists intentionally attack, torture, rape, massacre, mutilate, and incinerate humans simply for not being Muslim. That is the definition of evil.Obama on Journalist's Killing: 'No Just God Would Stand For What They Did'
Obama said: “ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day.”
... “There is evil in this world, and we all have come face to face with it once again,” Kerry said. “Ugly, savage, inexplicable, nihilistic and valueless evil. ISIL is the face of that evil, a threat to people who want to live in peace, and an ugly insult to the peaceful religion they violate every day with their barbarity.”
Does the Quran really contain dozens of verses promoting violence?
Comment: Above link has many Quran quotes.Muslims must own their own sacred writings! Image source - shark
Lots of rhetoric, no problem-solving from Sharpton and other leaders
So Al Sharpton came to town. Didn't see him when the grandmother was killed in the crossfire. Or when little Antonio Johnson died while doing homework. Or on any weekend when violence seems to be an ordinary occurrence. Why? Well you don't need a Harvard degree to figure it out. He calls himself a "shining light" but the truth is, he and many leaders are dim bulbs in a dysfunctional society. There's lots of rhetoric, gesturing and catchy phrases but no positive, productive problem-solving. No looking inward. Does anybody really think those involved with looting, vandalism, civil disobedience care what these leaders say? They understand a totally different kind of language. My thoughts are with the good people of Ferguson. May your community start to heal and become unified.Justice will be served in Brown's killing
I'm a black man, born and raised in the city of St. Louis. I went to public schools, graduated from Beaumont High. I served my country in the Navy. This behavior in Ferguson makes no sense. We need to look in the mirror. This killing of Michael Brown is a tragedy. Justice will be served, but not like this. All of this is taking away from what happened to this young man. He was trying to better himself; we should be remembering all of his wonderful qualities. The person that did this will be brought to justice. When given time, the justice system will work. In closing, why is it that nobody sees or knows anything when it is a black killing a black? We kill each other everyday, and nobody in the neighborhood sees anything. Why is that?Comment: Two common sense letters to the editor. Re the first letter - I hyperlinked to the Antonio Johnson story. Not sure what the "grandmother" story is about. Image source
Texas Chainsaw Prosecution - Criminalizing politics hits a new low with the Rick Perry indictment
Usually when prosecutors want to use the criminal statutes to cripple a political opponent, they come up with at least some claims of personal or political venality. In this case the D.A.'s office is trying to criminalize the normal process of constitutional government. The background facts don't make the case any more compelling. In 2013 police found Travis D.A. Lehmberg drunk in her car with a blood alcohol level of 0.23, or nearly three times the legal limit. A video made at the time shows her ranting against and abusing the police attempting to book her. The Democrat eventually did jail time. Mr. Perry saw a political opening and said he would veto $7.5 million in funds for Ms. Lehmberg's Public Integrity Unit unless she resigned. He argued, plausibly enough, that a prosecutor who breaks the law and abuses law enforcement shouldn't judge the "public integrity" of others in government. Ms. Lehmberg refused to step down, and Mr. Perry used his line-item veto to strike the appropriation.Comment: There's no doubt Perry will ultimately prevail in court ... and it may propel his Presidential ambitions!
Choosing Which Unilever Share Class Is Right For You
In summary: There is Unilever NV, a Netherlands-sourced operating company with shares carrying the ticker UNA trading in Amsterdam, and equivalent ADRs under the ticker UN trading on the NYSE. There is also Unilever PLC, a United Kingdom sourced operating company with shares carrying ticker ULVR trading in London, and equivalent ADRs under the ticker UL trading on the NYSE. Also worth noting, dividends are declared in euros. Here are two tables: The first shows the tickers for the four possible ways to invest in Unilever. The second table shows the currency exchange each dividend declared must go through before being received by the holder of the various shares.Comment: I have UN. I probably bought it not knowing the difference. If one is in a taxable account - it probably doesn't matter. In an IRA ... buy UL. See list of Unilever brands