John Stewart and Brian Williams Leave Broadcasting

John Stewart and Brian Williams’ spokesman confirmed today that both will soon be temporarily leaving broadcasting. Separately the two confirmed their almost simultaneous statements.

Born in New York, within years of each other, both have taken residence in New Jersey.

Both attend grade school and high school, and the similarities keep going as both attended college and each then stopped. Neither are Korean!

As these two twin broadcasters’ careers evolved, one can’t help notice, both of their deep religious backgrounds, based in centuries of Judeo/Christian tradition. Some say it was with that background that each made their final decision to put their future on hold.

Future plans have not been confirmed, but have not been denied either. Sources said news of the Alabama court decision may have precipitated the action.

When emailed for comment, no reaction was received.

We have also been unable to confirm Steven Cobert’s recent decision to host the Late Night Show had anything to do with the timing of these announcements.

Below the poverty line, wages affect everyone.

The owner of a small restaurant in Minnesota recently added a 35¢ line item surcharge to his guest receipts, supposedly to make up for an increase in the state minimum wage law.

It was his way of making a political statement, that this increase is an added hardship for his business.

I for one am sick of companies that are allowed to pay employees less than a living wage on the pretense of keeping expenses low and saving customer’s money. It does not save me money when an employee of a company works full time and yet is under the poverty line requiring subsidized food assistance, subsidized health care, subsidized mass transit, etc… all of which add to my tax burden

The cost shifting of employee compensation from private to public entities is a practice that needs to be abolished.

The minimum wage started as part of the New Deal legislation with the goal of leveling the wage negotiations between a single employee and a large corporation. The goal of the program was to bring the minimum wage to a number near the poverty line. From 1938 to the 1960’s the minimum wage rose with inflation and the wages rose.

However in the late 60’s the real value of the minimum wage was allowed to fall resulting in a wage that reflects a 25% decline in real value today. That 25% that had to be made up somewhere else and that turned out to be social assistance.

There are many causes for the decline in workers wage value. The decline in union participation has eliminated much of the collective bargaining. The entry of Walmart (and stores like it) in almost every market has eliminated small entrepreneurs who had a stake in the community they lived in. (It is a lot harder to not pay someone a fair wage if you have to see them in church every week.) Third, corporations have moved many of the higher paying blue collar jobs overseas to capture cheap labor.

What needs to happen is a new social contract needs to evolve, allowing everyone who works in an industry to have the opportunity to make a living wage without the need for a subsidy. Private Industry and business should pay for the labors they require and shouldn’t be allowed to cost shift their moral responsibilities to the public sector.

This new social contract should include a linkage between the fiduciary responsibilities of a corporation to make a profit and the moral imperative of a corporation to treat human beings fairly.

Fear Grips Minnesota as the Indian War 1862 Goes On

A Man’s body in tree since 1862 is found. – Wood choppers in Le Sueur County make gruesome discovery while working in woods. “Man hid in Hollow Tree, During Indian Outbreak. Unable to Extricate Himself.”

The Le Sueur News tells about a startling discovery made recently on the farm of Edward Gleek of Ottawa Township in the woods along the river. In clearing a piece of land, it became necessary to cut down a gigantic white oak tree which broke in falling, disclosing the fact that it was hollow for a distance of about fifteen feet, beginning several feet above the ground and the cavity ending in a large opening concealed among the branches of the lower side of the tree which leaned considerably.

Within this hollow was found by the horrified choppers the mummified body of a man, not at all decayed, but dried and shriveled by the lapse of time into something rivaling the best Egyptian art. Mr. Gleek, on being summoned by the frightened laborers, recognized at once in the mummy the body of Jean Le Rue, a former servant of Mr. Gleek, who had mysteriously disappeared from the farm August 20, 1862.

On the day, which was during the Sioux Uprising, a boat load of soldiers on their way up the Minnesota River from St. Paul to New Ulm, foolishly discharged their muskets many times as they steamed up the river above Henderson, carrying terror to the hearts of people along the river who were already about to flee from the dreaded Indians. At Le Sueur, one of the bullets thus discharged, wounding a small boy, Cyrus McEwen, in the leg.

Mr. Gleek says that when Jean LaRue heard the firing he seemed nearly to lose his reason from fear, rushed into the house, seized his rifle and some other belongings, including about $700 in money and fled into the woods. He must have known of the hollow tree, sought to hide there, slipped too far down, and being unable to extricate himself; must have perished there where his body, preserved in the living oak, failed to decay. His rifle, bullet pouch and powder horn were found by him and the money, $783.50 was found in his pocket.

Also there was found in his diary, which Mr. Gleek says LaRue always faithfully kept, and in it undated, but on the page following the one dated Friday, August 29, 1862, was written in trembling words the following: “Cannot get out, surely must die. If ever found, send me and all my money to my mother, Madam Suzanne LaRue, near Tarascon, in the province of Bouches, Du Phone, France“.

Through the consul at Marseilles, Mr. Gleek will endeavor to learn something of the dead man’s relatives, but there is not much hope of doing so at this late date.

— News Article Clipped from the Faribault, MN newspaper, Wednesday July 2, 1919.

1915 Canadian Land Opportunity

Talk On Western Canada

    Taking from the January 14, 1915 Weekly Valley Herald, Chaska, MN – Page 3

“You Don’t have to Lie About Canada – The Simple Truth Is Enough.

The Natural resources of the country are so vast that they cannot be told in mere figures. Man can only tell of what tine portions have done. He can only say, “I am more prosperous than I ever expected to be.” And yet, if a farmer expects to succeed on land the has been forced to pay $50 to $100 an acre for he ought to feel assured of attaining prosperity when he finds the richest prairie soil at his disposal absolutely free. If he has a little capital, let him invest it all in live stock and farm implements – he will find himself ten years ahead of the game. Some day such a chance will not be found anywhere on the face of the globe. But now the same opportunities await you as awaited the pioneer and not one hundredth part of the difficulties he encountered and overcame. Success in Canada is made up of two things, natural resources and human labor. Canada has the one and you the other. A postal card stands between you and the Canadian government agent. If you don’t hold these two forces and enjoy the fruits of the results it is your own fault.

Debt and Canada Will Not Stand Hitched.

You want a cozy home, a free life, and sufficient income. Your want education for your children, and some pleasure for your wife. You want independence. Your burden has been heavy, and your farm hasn’t paid, you worked hard and are discouraged.

You require a change. There is a goal within sight, where your children will have advantages. You can get a home in Western Canada, freedom, where your ambitions can be fulfilled. If the Prairie Province of Canada are full of Successful Farmers why should you prove the exception? Haven’t you got brains, experience, courage? Then prove what these are capable of when put on trial. It is encouraging to know that there is one country in the world where poverty is no barrier to wealth; own your own car; own yourself; be somebody.

For facts write to any Canadian government agent. Advertisement.”

To Increase Sales – Frozen Pizza Maker Cans the Brand

It might sound like a recipe for disaster, but a regional frozen pizza maker, whose pies were formerly known as Bernatello’s, has dropped that brand name in favor of pursuing an upscale clientele.

In a market where sales are declining nationally, studies have shown that customers are heading back to their favorite restaurants, instead of popping in a frozen pizza. It turns out that people prefer a fresher better tasting product. In order to compete, Bernatello’s Foods has had to increase the quality of their product to meet this new customer focus and downplay their former brand name.

Bernatello’s Foods has its’ roots in a small Minnesota Tavern where is began its’ corporate life in 1970 as “Bud’s Pizza”. In 1982 Marigold Foods purchased a 50% share and changed the name to Bernatello’s. From there it has grown to a multi-state venture employing about 400 people.

Now despite 10% annual growth and yearly sales of over $80 million the company has seen the writing on the wall and is dropping their name from the packaging to emphasize their new push to quality.

Despite competition from multi-national brand like Nestle’s Digiorno or Tombstone and regional giant Schwan’s Red Baron, local Bernatello’s continues to hold fast at #2 in the Twin Cities and Milwaukee markets.

So why should a small town agent care about this change of sales strategy, besides getting a good tip on where to get their next frozen snack.

This sales strategy should be a road map for a successful independent agent. By focusing on quality, sales can go up even in the face of national competition. Insurance agents need to understand that they will not be able to make their voice be heard over the billions of dollars being spent to build insurance brand names. In order to prosper you must rely on a value proposition of service, quality and dependability.

A newspaper article published in Business Horizons back in 1988, “The Service-Quality Puzzle” still rings true. “To earn a reputation for quality, an organization must meet-or exceed- customer expectations.” Stanley Marcus of Neiman Marcus is quoted as saying “The dollar bills the customer gets from the tellers in four banks are the same. What is different are the tellers.”

If insurance agents continue to sell based on price, they will fail to differentiate themselves from the other dollar bills. The surest way to avoid that is to emphasize quality and value. That recipe is the surest way yet to get a larger slice of the pie.

Dear Clarence*

Q: Clarence, I’ve noticed that you seem to know a lot about exercise, can you help me choose a place to exercise?
A: If you are at a gym and all of the other members are overweight and out of shape chances are you are not at a very good gym. I’ve also noticed the best places have HD TV and snack bars.
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Q: A friend told me  I should cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: Your friend is misinformed. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products. Bacon is a good choice to round out any meal.
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Q: On Opra, I heard them talking about body/fat ratio, how can I calculate my mine?
A: It’s very simple, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.
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Q: Dear Clarence, my wife and I cannot agree on the most appropriate fork to use with fish when a dedicated fish fork is not available.

I prefer the genteel salad fork while my wife and son use the heaviest fork available.

Which do you prefer?
A: While I appreciate your desire to raise your fork etiquette to a higher level, it appears to me, you are working much too hard at this. The Minnesota State Fair solved this dilemma quite nicely by putting the fish on a stick, dipping it into batter and deep-frying it.
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Q: Mr. Clarence, recently the car my wife drives started smoking. At first it happen every once in a while but now, it’s all the time. The car is quite old and has a lot of miles on it. What can we do?
A: Consider yourself lucky to be a Minnesotan. Our legislators have solved the problem for you. All you have to do is bring the car with you to your favorite bar or tavern. Thanks to the smoking ban now in place, your car will automatically quit smoking.

*Dear Clarence’s advice should be taken with a grain of salt or a dinner roll, depending on your appetite.