Friday, September 08, 2006

Strib Proves Almost Conclusively That There Is No such Thing as a Waste of Taxpayer Money in Their View

Remember while you read this: according to these bozos, and a-hole consortia like "Growth" & "Justice," we are not taxed enough...

Editorial: Book Awards are budget-cut victim

Legislature's 2003 cuts are still being felt.

Read this and please describe in the comment thread how you "felt" the cuts about which these fools bloviate.

If awards were granted to awards programs, the Minnesota Book Awards should be among the nominees. It's been a gem of inspiration and recognition for hundreds of Minnesota authors and a guidepost for Minnesota readers since its inception 18 years ago.

Not being a Minnesota author, I wouldn't know. But as a reader, I am perplexed that I somehow missed out on the Minnesota Book Awards. Perplexed in much the same was as I was perplexed in missing the Daytime Emmys this year. And last year. And pretty much every year since I was born.

It's also homeless.

Maybe you could get it to vote Democrat if you offered it a pack of cigarettes.

The Minnesota Humanities Commission, the award's sponsor for the past seven years, announced with considerable sadness last week that it would sever its tie with the Book Awards. The commission staff is striving to secure one or more new sponsors for the orphaned program. We hope they succeed. The awards' value to all who appreciate regional literary endeavors is too great to lose.

Appreciate. Regional. Literacy. Uh huh.

So the value isn't to those who are illiterate. Or those who teach illiterate people to read (presumably using a Minnesota Book Award-winning tome). It's valuable for those who appreciate literacy. Oh but not just any literacy - REGIONAL literacy.

MOONBAT BLOGGER INTERRUPTS: Shorter LearnedFoot: "I hate literacy!"



The commission's reasons for letting go of so fine a program deserve a close look, even by Minnesotans who've never heard of the Book Awards. The decision can be traced directly to state budget cuts in 2003 -- and demonstrates that the repercussions of that year's no-new-taxes approach to eliminating a $4.5 billion state deficit are still being felt.

There. All you Sue Jeffers people who are worried about throwing your vote away, there it is. There's your reason to go for T-Paw. Useless wastes of money like this are starting to fall to the budget committee's cutting room floor.


The Humanities Commission, a 35-year-old nonprofit organization that administers state and federal grants for humanities promotion and education, lost $1 million per year, a third of its budget, at the hands of the 2003 Legislature. A third of its staff was let go. The number of teachers it was able to serve per year in its teacher institutes was cut in half.

The latter change got the attention of decisionmakers in St. Paul. The 2005 Legislature restored $400,000 of the lost funds, directing that those funds be used only for teacher education. The commission does not dispute making education a priority, said CEO Stanley Romanstein. But the Legislature's action, and the commission's inability to raise enough private money to replace lost state funds, meant that something had to give. The Book Awards were dropped, as were the Learning in Retirement Network and a grant program for scholars.

Oh no! Now Minnesota authors will have no organization from whom they can receive awards. Except for these.

Most Minnesotans likely won't miss those small programs.

But let's waste money on them anyway!

But they improved this state's quality of life -- as did scores of other government-financed endeavors that were similarly pinched or erased in the last four years. Minnesota is not better without them.

They did? How? No - be specific: how did these useless programs improve the quality of life of Minnesota - a state with a population of nearly 5 million people; not just "hundreds of authors" and a few teachers?


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