They’ll Know It When They Hear It

Joe Doakes from Como  Park emails about some noise ordinance litigation:

2,000 rounds fired per weekend, too noisy, annoyed the neighbors.  He might have been alright if he’d applied for the correct permits up front, instead of trying to sneak in under the agricultural exemption.

The troubling thing about the opinion is the statute says no local jurisdiction can impose noise levels more strict than PCA.  So how can they complain about noise?  Because PCA hasn’t issued noise levels for shooting events, and the local ordinance didn’t set any.  The commission acted on their gut instinct in deciding it was too loud.  That’s worthless as a standard – how loud is too loud?

Maybe something for GOCRA to consider, working with agency staff to develop acceptable noise levels?

Joe Doakes

If there’s one thing you learn in Saint Paul, it’s that government prefers rules to be handed down by oral tradition.  More leeway that way.

 

Green Fizzle

The much-lauded California program that jacked up taxes on out-of-state corporations and devoted half the proceeds to “green” projects has apparently fallen short of expecations

90% short.  At least, as far as they can tell; the program isn’t actually releasing details, which – let’s be honest – means they actually did worse than 10% of projections.

Three years after California voters passed a ballot measure raise taxes on corporations and generate clean energy jobs by funding energy-efficiency projects in schools, barely one-tenth of the promised jobs have been created, and the state has no comprehensive list to show how much work has been done or how much energy has been saved.

Money is trickling in at a slower-than-anticipated rate, and more than half of the $297 million given to schools so far has gone to consultants and energy auditors. The board created to oversee the project and submit annual progress reports to the Legislature has never met, according to a review by The Associated Press.

In other words, the law didn’t repeal human behavior – corporations curtailed California operations to avoid the tax – and, most damningly, the whole thing turned into a wealth-transfer program, moving money from the productive class to the rent-seeking parasites.

I’m Not Saying

Conservative talk radio takes a huge chunk out of liberal/Democrat politicians.

Democratic Party:  “We need to shut up and/or discredit talk radio”.

The Libertarian frat party, three months later:  “Talk radio is teh short bus radio for dummies!”

Republican candidate for President promise, in an election where foreign policy figures to have a significant impact, a policy of confronting and attacking terror.

Democratic Party:  “They are going to eat our feckless party’s lunch on foreign policy, and there’s nothing our Sanders-loving base will let us do about it”

The Libertarian frat party, three months later:  “Warvangelicals!  They just want to kill brown people!”

Benghazi threatens the reputation of the Secretary of State and heir-apparent to the Presidency.

Democratic Party:  “We need to defuse this Benghzi thing”.

The Libertarian frat party, three months later:  “Hey!  Faux News wants a new war, and they’ll chant Benghazi ’til they get one!  You’re paranoid!”

Obama signs a feckless, stupid deal with the Iranians – one that is not only provoking Neville Chamberlain to scream “No!” from the grave, but is making George McGovern angry.

Democratic Party:  “We need to marginalize the opposition to this deal”.

The Libertarian frat party:  “Republicans just want waaaaaaar!”

Hillary Clinton’s email servers may violate the law in the same way David Petraeus’ emails did, only possibly much, much worse.

Democratic Party:  “We need to defuse the email server situation”

The Libertarian frat party, a month later:  “Email server is the new Benghazi!”

No, correlation doesn’t equal causation.

Of course not.

They Are The Law, And The Law Won

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Justice Department says Justice Department did no wrong in targeting payday lenders and gun shops.  Well that’s good to know.

Next time the IRS calls me about my tax returns, I’ll tell them I’ve carefully investigated myself and found no problem at all.  I’m sure that’ll clear it right up.

Joe Doakes

Government never lies to protect government…

 

Culture Of Failure

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Sanctions are imposed on outlaws; only legitimate governments enter into international agreements.

The starting point for the Iran Deal was the US had to recognize the Rouhani Regime – the successor of the people who stormed our embassy in 1979 and held our people hostage 444 days – as the legitimate government of Iran.

President Obama is exploring diplomatic relations but we don’t get our embassy back – it’s now a hate-America museum.

With awesome results like these, I want John Kerry negotiating for me on my next used car purchase.  What could go wrong?

You could be driving a Pontiac Aztek, that’s what.

 

Coming Soon To A Poetry Slam Near You

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Obama wants to save the world.
It’s in danger from Global Warming.
Global Warming is caused by US carbon emissions.
Gasoline emits carbon so we need to reduce gasoline usage.
Driving gas prices to $5 per gallon would reduce gasoline usage.
Obama tried to drive gas prices higher by blocking the Keystone pipeline.
But higher pump prices made it affordable to increase oil production in North Dakota.
North Dakota oil brought down the world price of crude oil, hurting Saudi Arabia’s profits as an oil exporter.
Saudi Arabia cut its crude prices below cost to crush North Dakota oil; it partly worked – they’ve cut back.
Now Obama lifted sanctions on Iran so it can sell oil which will drive down the world price of crude.
Which should bring down gasoline prices at the pump.
So Americans can afford to drive more.
And create more carbon emissions.
To cause Global Warming.
And destroy the world.
Obama wants to save.
Damn that
Bush!

Heh.

Imports

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A pair of graduate students from the U of M came to the office to learn about Minnesota’s system of land title records.  Seems they’re hoping to institute a new system in Kenya where land records are not reliable, making investment risky which discourages entrepreneurship and that leaves people in poverty, dependent on government hand-outs.  The students propose a computerized system (which will reveal changes and who made them) based on GPS coordinates (that can be re-established in the field by any hand-held GPS receiver).

The students are cargo cultists.  They propose a technological solution to a cultural problem.  I’m skeptical.

Kenya left the British Empire in 1963 and for the last half-century: “the use of land as an object of patronage to engender support and consolidate power has been exacerbated by corruption, forced eviction, government backtracking, and lack of redress for those who have lost land through violence.”

Suppose the computer gives me absolute iron-clad proof that the land records clerk altered the records to give my land to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s friend.  Suppose when I show up in court, the President’s friend arrives with a thick envelope of “last-minute evidence” for the judge, then glances meaningfully at his Reece Squad escorts and says “So, judge, how are the wife and kids?  Be a shame if anything happened to them.”  What are my chances of getting my land back?

Technology can’t solve that problem.  It takes a culture of incorruptibility, of self-less devotion to the Rule of Law, and that culture takes hundreds of years to grow.  Kenya threw that away when it kicked out the British.  Americans are letting our own Kenyan throw it away today.

Joe Doakes

Barack Obama’s worst facet?  He’s bringing the worst facets of Third World/Chicago governance to a national stage.

I’m going to say that before the IRS shuts me down.

 

Disqualifying

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama wants to ban people who can’t manage their budget from possessing firearms. So we can add every Democrat politician to the list?
Joe Doakes

He might propose disarming Greece, Portugal and Italy…

… but then, soon enough, he’ll have to disarm the United States.

Wait…

A Small Liberation

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has smacked down the Gestapo-like no -knock raids  on conservative dissidents:

In a ruling [yesterday] morning, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rendered official what observers have long known: Wisconsin Democrats did, in fact, launch a massive, multi-county “John Doe” investigation of the state’s conservatives, featuring extraordinarily broad subpoenas and coordinated “paramilitary” raids of private homes; the “crimes” that provided the investigation’s pretext were not crimes at all, but First Amendment-protected speech; and the legal theory underpinning the investigation was bunk, “unsupported in either reason or law,” as the court put it.

I can maintain a certain amount of intellectual attachment for most political stories – but the Wisconsin KGB makes me genuinely furious:

The raid victims have suffered severe, long-term consequences as a result of these raids. Almost to a person, they say they no longer feel secure in their own homes. They report watching what they say, terrified that overt political involvement could lead their homes to be invaded again. One victim said, “I tried to create a home where the kids always feel safe. Now they know they’re not. They know men with guns can come in their house, and there’s nothing we can do.” Another victim — whose son was home alone when police arrived, guns drawn — is haunted by this chilling thought: “He could have been in the shower. They could have broken the door down. He could have been shot. Over politics.”

The prosecutors involved need to be removed from public life.  I almost tried to type “public service”, but my fingers stopped and started smoking.   In a just world, they’d be perp-walked out of their homes in their underwear in front of the mocking and jeering of their former victims.

A free society can only remain free while the majority are pulling in the same direction – toward freedom.  Laws are, tautologically, needed for “the rule of law”.  Laws – especially excessive laws, which covers most “campaign finance” laws – are also the footholds by which the unscrupulous eat others’ freedoms.

You’re Crazy To Dissent!

In the 1970s – during Leonid Brezhnev’s kinder, gentler version of the Soviet Union – the gulags of the Lenin and Stalin regimes were largely replaced by “psychiatric hospitals”.

Since disssent from government was considered a mental illness in the Soviet Union, naturally, dissidents needed “treatment”.

Author Dinesh D’Souza – one of the Obama administration’s most prolific and articulate dissidents – got caught up a few years ago in one of the web of speech rationing laws. These laws – commonly referred to as “campaign-finance laws” – are intended to, and eventually will, make all political speech and activity, including (I predict) this blog, potentially prosecutable.

Judges and bureaucrats referring to speech as “illegal” is nothing new; it’s the battle freedom will always have to fight.

But using the psychiatric profession to beat down dissent?  It’s baaaack; D’Souza’s judge has ordered him, for a third time, to seek psychiatric treatment:

D’Souza’s defense counsel Benjamin Brafman provided evidence to the court that the psychiatrist D’Souza was ordered to see found no indication of depression or reason for medication. In addition, the psychologist D’Souza subsequently consulted provided a written statement concluding there was no need to continue the consultation, because D’Souza was psychologically normal and well adjusted.
But Judge Berman, who was appointed by Bill Clinton, disagreed, effectively overruling the judgment of the two licensed psychological counselors the U.S. probation department had approved as part of D’Souza’s criminal sentence.
“I only insisted on psychological counseling as part of Mr. D’Souza’s sentence because I wanted to be helpful,” the judge explained. “I am requiring Mr. D’Souza to see a new psychological counselor and to continue the weekly psychological consultation not as part of his punishment or to be retributive.

Point of basic logic to Judge Berman:  if you’re “requiring” the treatment, you’re not doing it to be helpful.

A Thousand Words

If there’s one thing I cordially detest about social media today, it’s the photo-memeification of all political debate.  On Facebook and Twitter, thousands of people can pass along a graphic, often wrong, frequently giggly/snarky photo in lieu of understanding an issue or being able to state a coherent case.

But sometimes they’re right:

I’ve been harping on the workforce participation numbers since 2011 – and they’ve just gotten worse.

And the fact is, if we’re ever going to reduce that debt figure (which doesn’t, by the way, count all the other unfunded entitlements that are floating about in the ether in numbers that look like they should be expressing Zimbabwean currency), it’s going to take actual productivity – which you’re not going to get when a huge percentage of your most-nominally-productive population are sitting idle, having given up hope that the economy will find a place for them.

(“But Mitch”, someone will no doubt say, “the workforce number reflects the number of baby-boomers that are retiring!”.  Sure, some of it.  But the percentage of Americans over 65 who are at work has actually risen – alone among the age groups – since the recession started.  And people drop off the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ figures after 70, so any retiring boomers will be out of the statistical picture momentarily, here…).

Schrimpe Auf Dem Grill

A long-time friend of this blog emails:

President Obama specifically said that the Charleston type killings did not happen in other Western countries.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/at-least-two-killed-in-austria-after-man-drives-into-crowd-before-stabbing-passersby-in-graz-10333891.html

Perhaps it was lost in translation because we know he can’t speak Austrian.

Your friend,
[Redacted]

On the one hand, I’m inclined to cut people breaks when it comes to languages – and Austrian does have a different accent, vocabulary and style than German.

On the other hand, there’s no way that the president who went Queen Elizabeth the Blueray collection of Eastenders for a Golden Jubilee present [1] knows that.

I’m pretty sure Obama once told a “Crocodile Dundee” joke when speaking to the Austrian ambassador.

[1] Or whatever it was.

Fake But Inaccurate

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Let’s talk about liars.

Progressives claim they speak Truth to Power to effect Change.  They view themselves as warriors for social justice, all members of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists, bravely pounding out their messages of hate in the service of a Higher Calling: Hope and Change.  For these courageous soldiers in the war on Everything Traditional, no tactic is too extreme, not even the Fake Review.

Suppose a Non-Progressive author has a new book on Amazon.  Suppose it’s getting great reviews from customers who bought the book and actually read it.  That can’t be allowed to continue . . . innocent readers might believe the high ratings, purchase the book and have their minds polluted with Non-Progressive Thinking.  Plainly, it is the duty of every good SJW to fight those high ratings by posting their own one-star reviews.   That will bring down the average rating to the point where innocents will conclude the book sucks and they won’t buy it, which will not only preserve blank minds to be filled with Progressive indoctrination, but also will hurt the Non-Progressive author’s wallet in the form of lost sales – a two-fer!

We saw that last spring, with the controversy over the River Oasis Cafe in Stillwater posting a “minimum wage fee” on its receipts; Yelp readers from all over the country who couldn’t possibly have ever visited the place left scathing, often disgusting and scatological, reviews on the online restaurant review site.  Dissent must be crushed.

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Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

Call me a cynic…

chanting_points_200px

…no.  Call Barack Obama a Cynic.

Our Ghoulish President:  The bodies were literally not cold from the Charleston shooting when the President started trying to politicize the incident:

“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities have had to endure tragedies like this too many times,” he continued. “Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. … We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

Tell it to Charlie Hebdo.

Sure it happens in other countries.  A sickening amount of it.  The US doesn’t even top the list on most categories of “rampage killing”. Not even the “religious or hate crimes” category, where the US isn’t even in the top five (Roof is tied for seventh).  And who’da thunk it; car-crazy Americans barely make the top ten in vehicular spree-killings.   [1]

The US is not uniquely violent – indeed, the left’s constant claim that we’re the most violent country in the world is  wishful thinking.  While the rate is a fraction of what it was 20 years ago, it is higher than European countries – whose populations tend to be small, homogenous and very orderly.  Among large, populous, heterogenous industrial states, Russia and Argentina and Brazil, among others, all have much higher murder rates.

The President is not talking fact.

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DFLers: Do Not Bakk Down!

I heard Steve “Spotty” Timmer on the lesser talk station the other day.  He’s leading a “movement” to petition Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk to resign his leadership role.

Now, I periodically refer to regional progressive bloggers as “people who don’t belong under police surveillance.   And how about those Twins?

However, if you are a Minnesota progressive, Timmer is exactly right.  You need to excise Tom Bakk from power forthwith, or all of your “progressive” chatter is just baked wind.

You must rise up and remove Bakk from power by all means necessary.

Accept nothing less than progressive perfection!

Get on this, folks. It’s vital.

Seems Perfectly Legitimate 

One of the state officials responsible for “crafting” Minnesota’s medical marijuana law…

…is taking over at one of Minnesota’s new medical marijuana companies:

A Health Department official charged with overseeing Minnesota’s medical marijuana program has been hired away by one of the state’s new cannabis corporations.

LeafLine Labs, which is growing half the state’s supply of medical marijuana, announced Thursday that it had tapped Assistant Health Commissioner Manny Munson-Regala as its new chief executive.

“I’m thrilled,” LeafLine co-founder Dr. Andrew Bachman said Thursday. “I have incredible respect for Manny and he has helped to motivate and inspire our organization in this journey.”

And doesn’t this response seem just a little… precious to you?:

Munson-Regala, who had been overseeing the rollout of the Office of Medical Cannabis for the better part of the year, said his reaction when LeafLine approached him last Wednesday was a startled, “What?” In the end, he was attracted to the idea of helping to build a fledgling industry that sits “at the intersection of public policy and health.”

And in the clutch almost reads like a journalistic “April fools” joke, state official is quoted as saying Munson-Regal didn’t make any decisions about medical marijuana “in the past week”.

Well, then…

North Korean Trash Collection: Not Just For Bloomington

A longtime friend of this blog from Mac-Groveland notes that the socialized trash racket is sniffing around Saint Paul, too:

Join us for a community conversation on organized trash collection this Thursday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hamline Midway Library (1558 W Minnehaha).

Have you taken the organized trash collection survey yet? We’ll be closing the survey at the end of this week, so be sure to take the survey to be entered to win a $50 gift card to the grocery store of your choice.

If you’re a Saint Paul resident – they’re coming for your trash freedom; they want to institute a system where the City Council picks the winners and losers from among whomever has the most clout with…the City Council.

It’ll give Saint Paul a trash-collection system like they have in Sudan – or, worse, Maplewood and Minneapolis.

Take the survey, Saint Paulites.  This has to stop.

It’s A Start

Bloomington residents turn out against racketized trash hauling (emphasis added):

Some angry residents want to take decisions on trash hauling out of the City Council’s hands. Residents are circulating petitions for both an initiative and a referendum that would allow citizens — rather than their elected officials — to have the final say on the issue.

Hard to say if the bolded parts are a little bit of editorializing by the Strib writer, John Reinan – but either way, it was a great turnout:

Nearly 100 residents testified for more than three hours at a public hearing on trash hauling Monday night. The city is proposing to implement a system of “organized collection.” In essence, the seven private haulers now licensed to do business in the city would carve up the territory and charge a single negotiated rate.

In other words, the city will pick winners and losers, and give everyone – resident and hauler – an “our way or the highway” “choice”.

The part that fascinates me, whenever people get to choose between freedom and socialism, is the rationalizations people choose for socialism:

[Supporters of the racket plan] pointed to the cost savings projected by the city, which add up to more than $8 a month for the average household.

“That will save the average person $103 a year,” said resident Greg Thompson. “Given the choice between choosing the color of the [garbage] bin and the name on the side of the truck, and saving 103 bucks, I choose the 103 bucks.”

You could choose bin colors and names.

Or you could choose prices.  That’s your call, in a free market system.  I, for one, stick with prices and service.

And if you believe that the “city negotiated price” is going to stay the same, once the trash haulers have no reason to compete in Bloomington, and that service will stay the same when the trash haulers have to cut cost corners to maximize profits (which is their job), you’re clearly a Democrat voter.

And you’re in ample company, as the Bloomington City Council is controlled by the DFL.  And it shows:

City residents last week received a mailing from Garbage Haulers for Political Choice, an industry group opposed to organized collection. That didn’t sit well with Council Member Andrew Carlson.

“What concerns me is, [the haulers] are negotiating in good faith — but at the same time, actively engaged with an organization whose purpose is to oppose organized collection. That doesn’t square up well with me,” Carlson said.

Complexity is hard.  If you’re a politician.