What’s In A Name

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Rep. Ilhan Omar keeps talking about Israel having undue influence in American politics, and people keep ripping her for it, calling her anti-Semitic.
I don’t like it.  Name-calling is a silencing tactic of the Left.  Whether you are branded as a homophobe, sexist, denier or anti-Semitic doesn’t matter: they’re all variations on “hater” and the Left won’t listen to haters, no matter what they have to say.  People on the Right should not use that tactic. We should be able to defend our position with logic and reason.
Anti-Semitic means prejudiced against Jews. One need not harbor religious prejudice to ask why it’s in the best interest of the United States to support a nation, whether it’s Vatican City, Somalia, or Israel.  The best foreign policy advice was given by Washington and Jefferson – honest friendship and commerce with all, entangling alliances with none.  Religion shouldn’t enter into it at all, on either side, for or against.
I’m not saying Rep. Omar is right that Israel has too much influence on American foreign policy.  But I am saying she’s not wrong to ask whether it does, and calling her names to silence her is an indication that the name-callers don’t think they can defend our Israel policy in an honest debate.  That’s the most troubling aspect of all.

I agree with Joe about the name-calling – but, all due respect, I believe it’s possible to both have a rational debate about Israel point out the Democrat party has a bit of an antisemitism problem.

Aim Toward “Complete Collapse” And Glue The Throttle To The Floor

House Democrats can’t bring themselves to oppose illegal immigrant voting, even in the most meaningless way possible:

Nearly every House Democrat on Friday opposed a measure condemning voting in U.S. elections by illegal immigrants, as part of a sweeping election reform bill.
The GOP-backed measure would have added language to the “H.R. 1” election proposal stating that “allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devalues the franchise and diminishes the voting power of United States citizens.”
Federal law already prohibits non-citizens from voting in elections for federal office. But the GOP motion referenced how San Francisco is allowing non-citizens, including illegal immigrants, to register to vote in school board elections.

Oh nooo, Fox News

Bear in mind – it’s the same language that passed without controversy six months ago.

The entire Democrat conference seems to think the entire nation suffers from Pauline Kael syndrome.

Rational Disagreement

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Rep. Ilhan Omar keeps talking about Israel having undue influence in American politics, and people keep ripping her for it, calling her anti-Semitic.
I don’t like it.  Name-calling is a silencing tactic of the Left.  Whether you are branded as a homophobe, sexist, denier or anti-Semitic doesn’t matter: they’re all variations on “hater” and the Left won’t listen to haters, no matter what they have to say.  People on the Right should not use that tactic. We should be able to defend our position with logic and reason.
Anti-Semitic means prejudiced against Jews. One need not harbor religious prejudice to ask why it’s in the best interest of the United States to support a nation, whether it’s Vatican City, Somalia, or Israel.  The best foreign policy advice was given by Washington and Jefferson – honest friendship and commerce with all, entangling alliances with none.  Religion shouldn’t enter into it at all, on either side, for or against.
I’m not saying Rep. Omar is right that Israel has too much influence on American foreign policy.  But I am saying she’s not wrong to ask whether it does, and calling her names to silence her is an indication that the name-callers don’t think they can defend our Israel policy in an honest debate.  That’s the most troubling aspect of all.

On the one hand, I don’t disagree – there are grounds for criticizing Israeli foreign policy. Not as many as Big Left would have you think, but sure.

On the other hand, that doesn’t detract from the nasty antisemitism problem the Democrat party has.

The Democrat Conundrum

How do you lecture the rest of the country about “racism” when one of the people in charge of your foreign policy is a corrosive racist who exudes antisemitism more often than Gerald Ford stumbled?

When you’re today’s Democrats, that’s a bit of a problem. House Dems put together a resolution saying “No Anti-Semites Here, Nossirreebob”:

The resolution, which began circulating to members Monday night, comes after a backlash from top Democrats who accused [Minneapolis representative Ilhan] Omar of anti-Semitism for referring to pro-Israel advocates’ “allegiance to a foreign country.”

Omar, not being the brightest crayon in the package, is doubling down:

[Congresswoman Nita] Lowey condemned Omar’s use of “offensive, painful stereotypes,” leading to a fight on Twitter as Omar dug in on her comments and was cheered by some on the left.
“Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman!” Omar wrote, later adding, “I have not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel, I have questioned it and that has been clear from my end.”

She’s “just asking questions” about all them Jiiiews.

Where have we heard that?

Good job, Minneapolis. We’re proud of you.

Open Letter To All The Progs Who Still Think “All Conservatives” Were “Birthers”

To: All Progs Who Still Think “All Conservatives” were “Birthers”
From: Mitch Berg, Angry Peasant
Re: Settling Up

Dear Progs who still still think inserting references to “Alex Jones” and “Birthers” puts an end to all arguments with conservatives and/or Trump supporters:

I’ll be charitable and call it “even”.

To be a little more charitable – Omar is hardly alone. Dim as she is, she’s got someone really, really depraved doing her thinking on this sort of thing for her.

Well, if you live in the Fifth, you better hope that’s all it is, anyway.

Next Wednesday

UPDATES – hearing postponed. More at the bottom of the article.

At Valley View Middle School in Edina.

Why would the DFL-controlled House decide to hold its hearings

  • 15 miles from the Capitol
  • in an auditorium that seats far fewer people than the combined House hearing rooms can seat,
  • to turn the location of the hearing itself into a propaganda point (even though school violence is down sharply in the last 25 years)
  • to make it harder for citizens to participate (the capacity of the auditorium is far less than that of the various hearing rooms at the state capitol)
  • to kill transparency; the existing hearing rooms allow the hearings to be broadcast, so the people statewide can see the DFL in all its skullduggerous pettifogging glory
  • If you’re a gun owner who uses public transit? Unless you live within a mile or so of the school, it’s 2-3 transfers to get there.
  • Worst of all, it creates a “felony trap” for law-abiding citizens wanting to attend the hearings

Oh, yeah – and it seems more than likely that the Edina school board is playing games, effectively barring just sent in groups from using public space in which to stage dissenting demonstrations.

This was always going to be one of those sessions where we need law-abiding gun owners to step up and show the weasels in the DFL who’s boss.

This time, more than most: the good guys are going to have to:

  1. Protest against the use of the public hearing process for propaganda purposes
  2. Protest against the useless and oppressive bills themselves.

In the meantime, the good guys need to melt down Rep. Mariani’s phone line (651-296-9714) and blow up his inbox (rep.carlos.mariani@house.gov) with respectful, thoughtful, considered messages indicating that the People of Minnesota would really like hearings to be about policy, not DFL propaganda.

Either way – whether the hearings are at the Capitol or at Valley View, if you could be rarin’ to go on Wednesday, let’s all make an evening of it, OK? 

UPDATE: Since Valley View Middle School is in fact a school, carry is illegal under Minnesota law…

…unless you get permission from the Superintendent per Minnesota statute.

So send the Superintendent, and Valley View’s principal, a request to honor your permit. The template is right here. It should download an MS Word file. Change the return address and signature line to your own, and send it to the two officials (email address provided in the template).

Then share your responses in the comment section.

DIVERSITY ALERT: The school would seem to have been chosen to mirror the utter Caucasianity of Minnesota’s gun grabber cult:

UPDATE + BIG WIN! – The “hearing” has been postponed and will apparently be moved.

Where? Well, hopefully the Capitol. But we’ll see.

Anyway – the good guys won this skirmish; apparently Rep. Mariani’s inbox was already gushing smoke when he walked in this morning (yes, I made that up, but you gotta admit it’s a wonderful image, right?), and the Edina Schools got so many permission requests they’ve worn out the Control+V keys on several office keyboards.

Well done, Real Americans.

Get ready for the next go-’round.

Open Letter To Rep. Carlos Mariani

Rep. Mariani (rep.carlos.mariani@house.mn),

I am a Saint Paul resident.  I am writing to protest the hijacking of the hearing process to serve as a DFL propaganda event.  

Putting the hearings on the Red Flag Gun Confiscation and Universal Registration bills at Valley View Middle School next week is exploitive, emotionally manipulative, and worst of all creates a potential felony trap for law-abiding citizens wishing to attend the hearings.   

It’s also un-transparent – there is far less space for spectators, and the hearings can’t be broadcast on the House video stream.  

This move is manipulative and deeply undemocratic, and I really hope you will reconsider.  

Mitch Berg
Saint Paul

Fluuussssssshhhhhhh

Reading about MNLARS – the state’s drivers license, registration and titling system – is making me nostalgic.

Back in 1996-97, I worked for a company that was engaged to do the engineering for a big, extremely well-funded startup in Palo Alto, run by a former salesman from IBM. The company’s business model: pay people to read spam. The theory was, people would set up accounts, and then get a little bit of the ad buy money for clicking on ads, and links in spam emails.

Catering to greed, of course, is never a bad business model. But by the time I left the company, we were figuring that someone clicking on six ads a minute, 8 hours a day, might make $6-8.

I wound up leaving – and was delighted to read in PC Magazine that the project had made their “Ten Dumbest Ideas of 2007” poll. By this time, I the company had folded, taking $30 million in investor funding with it (along with, I was less delighted to learn, the company that I’d worked for).

Remember when $30 million on a bad idea seemed like a lot of money?

If that’d been a government project…

Oh, wait.

The Minnesota taxpayer has spent close to $100 million on the MNLARS system – half up front, leading to a spectacular failure, and half for a “fix” that failed even worse.

And now Governor Walz wants to double down on the failure:

Walz released a budget this week that includes $94 million through 2021 to finish the system known as MNLARS, operate it for two years, hire staff, and reimburse deputy registrars who took a financial hit from the botched 2017 rollout. That’s on top of $15.7 million in stopgap funding that Walz was already seeking to get the system through June 30.

To pay for some of the costs, Walz has proposed a $2 fee every time a driver makes a vehicle license, tab or title transaction.

Via Fox9

Fearless prediction; we’ll end up spending $400 million, and end up doing the whole thing in Google Drive spreadsheets.

Gun Rights Rally. Saturday.

If you’re a Minnesota 2nd Amendment supporter, it’s go time.

The Gun Owners Caucus is holding the “2019 Rally To Protect The Second Amendment” at the Capitol Rotunda on Saturday morning.

Event starts at 11. Doors open at 10.

If we could get over a thousand people there, it’d send a very powerful message to the DFL in the House.

I’ll be there. I’ll be broadcasting a NARN episode from the last rally, in April – a fairly evergreen one about the imperative for citizens to support the right to keep and bear arms along with all the others.

Why Does Governor Walz Hate The Environment And Want Rural Minnesotans To Die Flaming Deaths?

Governor Walz provides the service for which Big Environmental paid good money.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Enbridge pipeline would replace hundreds / thousands of derailment-prone tanker cars and crash-able «trucks that currently transit populated areas and sensitive environments with a pipeline that will be gallon-for-gallon vastly safer for both people and the ecology; Walz knows who he’s working for.

Arguably the bigger crime? The twaddle he plopped out there to justify “his” decision.

I’ll add some emphasis:

Gov. Tim Walz will continue pursuing a court appeal started by his predecessor that could block Enbridge from building a controversial $2.6 billion oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.
Under former Gov. Mark Dayton, the Commerce Department appealed the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC’s) decision to allow Enbridge to build the pipeline, a replacement for its aging and corroding Line 3. Last month, the Walz administration said it would review the appeal.
“By continuing that process, our administration will raise the Department of Commerce’s concerns to the court in hopes of gaining further clarity for all involved,” Walz said in a statement. “As I often say, projects like these don’t only need a building permit to go forward, they also need a social permit. Our administration has met with groups on all sides of this issue, and Minnesotans deserve clarity.”

“Social permit”.

That is two steps from fluent Duckspeak.

Following it up with a platitude like “Minnesotans deserve clarity” adds rhetorical insult to Orwellian injury.

Governor Walz; your leash is showing.

Convenience Is King

A friend of the blog writes:

I don’t necessarily think it should be easier to vote. I think people should respect their right and make informed decisions. But, I do think it would be beneficial if more people did take their right seriously and voted.
With that, I laugh every time someone declares that voting day as a holiday will make it easier for people to vote. Easier for whom? Most poor people working for minimum wage in service industries will still be working. Healthcare workers will still be working. The list could go on.
Let’s look at the announcement by the city of Sandusky, Ohio, who will be making voting day a holiday. They’re swapping out Columbus Day.   (I don’t think that I have ever had Columbus Day off let alone holiday pay for working it, so is this going to be helpful for people?) Some decision makers were concerned that they were losing a 3 day holiday, but we’re swayed because this would be for the greater good. Of note, per this article, this would only affect 250 residents out of 26,000. The city manager admits it is “a small gesture, but an important one.”
Not sure if it is even a gesture of any import. How many of these 250 were already voting?

It might be a cheap shot to say “Progressives benefit by driving lots of ill-informed people to the polls”.

It really might.

I’m not sure “cheap shot” and “accurate” are mutually exclusive.

Open Letter To Senator Scott Jensen

To: Sen. Scott Jensen
From: Mitch Berg, Impudent Peasant
Re: Know Your Friends

Sen. Jensen,

Last year, as he got set up to run for re-election as a Republican in decaying purple district, Representative Dario Anselmo made a very visible point of cuddling up to Minnesota’s various gun control groups.

He spoke at their rallies.

He offered his own testimony (his stepmother was murdered).

He sought the grabbers’ endorsement, he could practically taste it.

And after all that, the DFL and the gun grab groups up to which he’d been sucking, endorsed the DFL opponent, who won the race surfing atop of curl of Progressive Plutocrat money. And it’s not just Anselmo. Republicans who cuddle up to Big Gun Control tend to get treated like the kid in junior high who, when the bullies and mean girls ask them to eat a bug to be accepted by the “cool kids”, eat the bug – and have the photos of them eating the bug pasted up around the school.

Don’t eat the bug, Senator Jensen.

That is all.

Ebb Tide

Jason Rarick won the special election in Senate District 11 last night, and did it with a pretty impressive margin in a district that was not only pretty much 50-50, but in which the GOP has never won the Senate seat.

Perhaps it’s a sign that the DFL wave from last fall has dissipated in a welter of the overreach I predicated. The GOP now has a two-vote majority in the Senate.

An interesting sign: organized labor, at least private-sector labor, was working the district hard.

For Rarick.

Didn’t see that coming, I gotta admit.

And perhaps it’s a sign that MInnesota’s real 2nd Amendment groups, which backed Rarick, are actually starting to get their clout back, and see the truth about the (in my opinion) fraudulent, Iowa-based “Minnesota” Gun Rights, which denounced Rarick for no rational reason other than the simple fact that winning would gut their gravy train. Side note: If you donate to Minnesota Gun Rights, you are a sucker and I’ll tell you to your face; you would do less damage giving your money directly to Michael Bloomberg.

Congrats, Jason Rarick!

Freedom Dies In “Efficiency”

Alternate title: “Ryan Winkler tries to make the trains run on time”.

The DFL majority in the House has moved all the House’s committees under the Ways and Means committee – meaning that Ways and Means chair Lyndon Carlson can can move bills around, and forward to votes, without a whole lot of scrutiny:

According to the DFLers who now make up the majority in the House, the newish method of managing the flow of budget-related bills is more efficient: a way for legislation to spend less time on the House floor and more time in committees, where the heavy lifting of legislating is really done.

But for House Republicans — both the 55-member Republican Caucus and the four-member “New Republican” caucus — those same rules constitute an anti-transparency move that puts democracy at risk. The newbie GOP even borrowed the motto of the Washington Post — “Democracy Dies in Darkness” — when discussing the rules, and one person testifying against them even drew a comparison to the casus belli of the Revolutionary War.
So is the move anti-democratic or a way of making things more efficient? Both? And does anyone outside the halls of the state Capitol much care?



Given that we now have situations with pages of bills moving through “divisions” – not even “committees”, anymore – with a single terse memo of commentary, I’d say “anti-democratic”.

Indeed, given that Ryan Winkler is behind it, I’d say “prima facie anti-democratic“.  

I Can Honestly Say…

…that if Ilhan Omar were a white, Presbyterian, Christian, humble, quiet-spoken conservative with an actual record of public service who said crap like this, I’d be mocking, taunting and condemning him – er, her, or whatever – with just as much schadenfreudy glee as I am today.

Because they’d both have it coming.

First – the rumor mill:

I’m starting to get the feeling that whole “accepting gays” thing Democrats jabber about is just a ploy…

And, yes, there’s the whole “antisemitic” bit:

Another Omar tweet from 2012 has drawn accusations of anti-Semitism against the congresswoman, who was appointed to a seat on the House Foreign Relations Committee by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Wednesday. 
“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” Omar tweeted during an Israeli military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. 

Given that the DFL is the party of intersectionality, it’s nothing she can’t fix among Democrats by declaring herself a lesbian and using it to shame any (white, Jewish, Democrat) critics that might pop up.

Which they won’t.

Consequences

To: Senator Scott Jensen
From: Mitch Berg, Obstreporous Peasant
Re: Quitcherbeefin’.

Senator Jensen,

Back in 2016, you ran as a gun-friendly candidate. You gladly accepted the endorsement of the MN Gun Owners PAC.

And then you turned around in the 2018 session, when Everytown for Gun “Safety” started pumping money into the state, and stabbed you pro-human-rights supporters in the back.

And judging by this Facebook post, you don’t seem to get why what’s left of your “base” is upset with you today:

For the benefit of those not following along at home, the Senator is talking about this photo:

It was taken the opening day of the MN State Legislature, on Tuesday. It’s Jensen, spooning with a couple of suburban gun-grabber soccer moms from Moms Want Action.

And now, Senator Jensen, you’re upset that your real supporters – well, former supporters – are taking umbrage at you for cuddling up with the Criminal Safety movement.

No, it’s not you. It’s us, naturally…: “Mean spirited pushiness has halted discussion of important issues” you say. No – the illiteracy, cowardice and inherent bullying nature of the gun grabber movement has halted discussion, Senator Jensen.

You picked the wrong side.

No, seriously – remember Dario Anselmo? The Republican who spoke at the Moms Want Action rally last fall, trying to ingratiate himself with the gun grabbers? Who went and endorsed an actual  Democrat who wound up riding into office on a wave of out-of-state money that Anselmo never had the faintest shot at, anyway?

Ringing any bells, Senator?

Repent.

That is all.

A Simple Choice

To: “Representative” Ilhan Omar
From: Mitch Berg, Deplorable taxpayer
Re: The eternal gift you are

Representative Omar,

You flaunted your Muslim piety at every turn, (while ignoring the parts where Progressivism is in conflict) – And demanded respect for same.

And now, you mock Vice President Pence’s faith.

Pick one.

That is all.

Rena Moran And The Pro-Mutilation Lobby

In the last session, legislation that would have added penalties to parents for subjecting their daughters to “female circumcision” – more accurately called “genital mutilation” – passed by a near-unanimous margin in the House, but stalled in the Senate.  The DFLers who opposed the bill carried out the wishes of the far-left “there are no bad cultural traditions in a multicultural society!” crowd, who believe that further regulating the practice of forever crushing a young female’s chance of enjoying sex would keep families from going to the doctor, lead to troubles with immigration authorities, and push the barbaric practice even farther underground.

Not sure I remember having the same deference to Christian parents who were also snake-handlers.  I’ll have to look into that.

The practice is illegal in Minnesota – but taking children to one of the 23 states where it’s not is currently a loophole under Minnesota law.

Mary Franson, the author of the last bill, is back – and pushing it into the face of the multi-culti majority in the House:

Rep. Mary Franson, an Alexandria Republican, said Friedman’s ruling underscores the need for her bill, which passed the House 124-4 in 2017, but never got a vote or hearing in the Senate in the 2017 or 2018 sessions. The Michigan case was the impetus for her bill.

“I will never stop fighting for the safety of little girls, and will keep working to put an end to this barbaric practice and punish parents who subject their daughters to these horrors,” she said in a statement.

Franson is asking for hearings on the bill with the House Health and Human Services Committee.

The committee is chaired by Rena Moran – one of the four DFLers who voted against the bill in the house during the last session.

So the question becomes:  will Rena Moran be standing up for the rights of parents to mutilate their children?

A Guy Can Dream

Arthur Chrenkoff on election reform, Australian style.

Tired of non-citizens enrolling (and voting Democrat (allegedly))? Or counties where more people end up enrolled (and voting) than are actually eligible to vote? Easy – to enrol to vote in Australia you need to present a driver’s licence or a passport or have someone who is already enrolled confirm your identity. This last option potentially opens the door to mischief, since you could make a chain of fraudulent enrolments based on the first, genuine link, but even with that proviso, the Australian system seems to me a lot tighter than the American seemingly free-for-all.

It could hardly be worse.

Before an election, every person on the electoral roll is mailed a little card by the electoral commission with the voter’s details and a unique barcode. To be able to receive a ballot at the polling station you need to either present the card to be scanned or if you have forgotten to bring it with you you need to show a valid ID for your name to be marked on the voters’ list. Failing either, you can query your absence on the electoral roll and lodge a provisional vote, whose validity will be carefully assessed as part of the overall count, but it is a relatively rare occurrence. To an Australian, an argument that requiring an ID to vote is tantamount to “voter suppression” seems pretty ridiculous. Virtually everyone has got some sort of an ID; the tiny remainder can be accommodated separately.

It seems to make sense.

The DFL will fight it to the death.

The Exposed Inner Id Of The Metrocrats

So Minnesota will have a new Speaker of the House – Melissa Hortman, longtime DFL extreme Metrocrat.

How extreme?

What do you suppose her first priority is going to be?  Minnesota’s fragile rural economy?  Crumbling infrastructure?  Our rural-urban educational divide?

How naive of you:

The new speaker, Rep. Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, said gun-violence prevention is priority No. 1

Minnesota already has among the lowest homicide rates, with or without firearms, of any state – and perhaps the lowest of any state with a major metro area in it.

We must be doing something right, right?

No – they’re answering to the master that put them in office: Bloomberg and the rest of the Democrat plutocrats with deep pockets.

If you’re a Minnesota gun owner or someone who cares about the Second Amendment, it’s that time again:

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus needs you to get involved.  Go sign up.  Become a sustaining member.   The MNGOC is the group doing all the work for 2nd Amendment rights in Minnesota.

This is one of those “Their Finest Hour” moments.  But they don’t happen on their own.

Open Letter To Paul Gazelka

To:  Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
From:  Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant
Re:    Line In The Snow

Senator Gazelka,

This morning on the lesser talk station, the host – Drew Lee – asked you about the approach your caucus, with its one-vote majority, was going to take regarding gun control in the coming session, given incoming Speaker Hortman’s statement that gun control is going to be her first priority.

(In a state with a muirder rate among the lowest in the nation – truly the extremist tail wagging the dog).

Your repliy seemed to indicate the proper response was to work with the opposition to find “a solution”.

I’ll make it simple;  the solution is fight crime.   Take everything that burdens the law-abiding gun owner off the table.

End of sentence.

The DFL – beholden as they are to millions of dollars in Bloomberg money for their wins in the election – will fight you on it.

We – the good guys, the law-abiding gun owners – will fight you a lot harder if you screw us.

Don’t screw us.

That is all.