It’s Reform Time

Imagine this: you are walking through downtown…er, Brainerd. It’s dark out, with a tinge of fog in the air. A car full of rural youth with mischief on their minds rolls up and jumps out. One has a gun, another a baseball bat. They are making loud, rural-youth-y noises. In a split second, you discern:

  1. Your life is in immediate danger
  2. They, not you, are the aggressors
  3. You being a middle-aged man or woman, and they being spry rural teens, you don’t reasonably have the means or opportunity to run away.

In a split second, you decide that your concealed handgun is the best way to resolve the situation – whether you shoot or not.

And after the episode, you call the police, lawyer up, and get ready for the process of proving to the court that your decision was correct…

…during which time a county attorney, sitting in a warm, safe office with a Keurig and stacks of law books and protected by metal detectors and deputies, will pick over the life-or-death decision you were forced, against your will, to make on a cold, dark, foggy night in Brainerd, with a grisly death potentially seconds away, to see if your attempt to flee was satisfactory enough under not only statue, but according to at least a dozen items of Minnesota case law.

Seem reasonable?

If so – in what world? Seriously?

Turnabout

After a couple of sessions of playing on the defensive on gun rights, the good guys are going over to the attack.

A Self Defense Reform bill has been introduced at the MIinnesota State Legislature.

ACTION ALERT – STAND YOUR GROUND
BILLS INTRODUCED IN HOUSE & SENATE
Our Stand your Ground bill has been introduced in the Minnesota Senate by Senator Carrie Ruud (R – SD 10) as Senate File 13 (SF13) and in the Minnesota House by Representative Lisa Demuth (R – 13A) and Representative Matt Bliss (R – 5A) as House File 131.

This bill, known as Self-Defense Law Reform, or “Stand your Ground”, legislation simplifies Minnesota’s self-defense law by codifying the 10-12 court cases that interpret our existing statutory law while removing the ridiculous “duty to retreat” concept that requires Minnesotans to retreat from an attacker before defending themselves with force.

This is our Stand your Ground legislation with bill content honed by use of force and legal experts and backed by our years of advocacy experience.

Why propose the change to law? See the example above.

But why try to pass the bills now?

Future Math

You may ask yourself “Why? What’s the point? There’s a DFL governor, and the House is controlled by Melissa Hortman and Uncle Ryan Winkler?”

Think about it for a moment: the DFL lead in the House is pretty thin, and several of those DFLers are in distant suburbs that went for Trump, or are net-Red districts in normal times. And there’s history – in 2002, the gun rights movement pretty much extincted all the anti-gun DFLers, leading in short order to passage of Carry Permit reform in 2003. And that was at a time when the state wasn’t nearly as polarized on gun issues as it is today. And if Hortman causes the bills to be tabled in the House while it passes the Senate? That’ll be remembered in 2022.

And Governor Walz? If he vetoes such a bill, it’s going to be used as an electoral sledgehammer against every DFLer outside 494 and 694. And it’ll draw blood.

Turn Out

The MN Gun Owners Caucus runs an “Action Center” with info on contacting your legislators, as well as all the other things we can do to move the needle on this. Remember – Senate File 13, and House File 131.

Eventually the Legislature is going to get tired of replacing melted switchboards.

Greetings, New Absolutists!

I’d like to issue a hearty “welcome” to all of you “progressives” out there who, in view of Twitter’s wholesale de-platforming not only of President Trump but masses of fairly mainstream conservatives, have become zealots for property rights (private and corporate) and freedom of association.

Good for you! It’s a big step!

Now – you and your movement owe a bit of an apology to all those bakers, photographers and florists you’ve been legally harassing for the past decade.

But baby steps! You can do it!

Checked And Balanced

Yesterday, Joe Doakes’ piece lamented the MNGOP’s perceived indolence on Governor Klink’s one-man power.

Senator Dave Osmek responded:

Mitch: I must respond to the re-post you made earlier today from Joe.

Acquiescence is approval.” Recently, I have seen idiot lawn signs that say “White Silence equals White Racism”. I guess Joe believes that must be true too. Let’s all get our white hooded robes on! The Senate GOP has voted 6 times to rescind those “emergency” powers of TIm Jung Walz. That’s all we have. I guess if the 34 Senate Republicans (RIP: Jerry Relph) don’t strip naked, paint ourselves purple, and dance on top of the Capitol dome to protest enough, we just are a bunch of Quislings. Right? The Senate GOP has been trying, every month, to move the narrative and gotten zero Media pick-up. If the Media isn’t reporting on every breath of Walz propaganda, willfulling not asking hard questions, and laser-focused on the color of Kim Kardashian’s panties…they aren’t happy and are too busy to do their real jobs.

“Let the Democrats try to pass laws without a single Republican vote, until Walz relinquishes power to the Legislature, where it belongs.” Well, I have a little news for Joe: Tim Jong Walz is doing this NOW! Until the “emergency” powers are removed, he can pop out Executive Orders like a Pez dispenser, and he has. And the GOP senate…votes to remove the powers. Over and over again. Walz has written laws, and penalties to go with them. King Timmy can fine you and imprison you, with no actual law passed by the Legislature to back it up. And if we DON’T pass funding to help the victims of Walz (businesses and unemployed), who will get the blame? I guarantee you the Media would leap into gear and make sure EVERY person in Minnesota knows that the GOP Senate Grinches are responsible. Walz is responsible for this mess, but we have to try to help those businesses before they collapse because of Walz’s stupidity.

Otherwise, what do we need Republicans for? Just let Walz run everything forever and save the per diems.” Be careful what you ask for, Joe. Nobody is more frustrated than the 34 Senate GOP Republicans, infinitely more than even Joe is . The Constitution is being used as toilet paper. The Legislative branch has been relegated to the Children’s Table at the Christmas dinner. We continue to try. We tried to change the law at the end of the regular session. If Joe wants a dictatorship, disbanding the Legislative branch, good luck.

Elections have consequences.

Minnesota law grants the governor a lot of power – predicated on the antique notion that governors would be people of unshakable integrity and commitment to republican government.

Events have shown the naïveté of that conceit, and the need to guard against it.

In 2015, a bipartisan majority voted to bar the governor from confiscating firearms, closing gun stores, and other anti-gun measures under color of a “state of emergency”. It was signed into law, amazingly enough, by Gov. Dayton. Its perspicacity should be obvious.

And people who care about liberty and checks and balances are going to have to do the same in coming legislatures.

Probably not this one – the DFL in the House is addicted to their governor being able to rule like Francisco Franco.

No – in 2022, we need a GOP sweep of the legislature and the governor’s office.

Seems like a tall order. But if I didn’t believe in miracles, I wouldn’t be a conservative in Saint Paul.

Governor Mussolini

Governor Fredo bans the sale and most display of “hate symbols” like confederate flags and swastikas in New York.

Because he can, that’s why.

I mean, there’s that pesky First Amendment and all..

But noted First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams argues Cuomo may have a larger problem on his hands, extending beyond a quick “technical” fix. 

“Governor Cuomo is correct that the First Amendment may require changes in the law in light of the First Amendment. A private entity can choose to sell or not sell offensive symbols but when the government bans the sale of offensive, but constitutionally protected symbols, on its property the First Amendment comes into play,” Abrams told The Post.

A Cuomo spokesman said the governor’s legal team will be reviewing the bill in consultation with the state Legislature to make a possible amendment.

If we only protected speech everyone agreed with, we wouldn’t need a First Amendment.

Also – it appears Hammers and Sicles and “Che” t-shirts were untouched. #Unexpectedly.

Just Dropping By To Say…

…that if you call yourself an “ethicist” on the one hand, but on the other seek to deny people either a good or service for which they’ve paid, or perhaps to which they are entitled, directly or indirectly, because they exercised their right to free speech, you’re not actually an ethicist.

You’re a wanna-be Mussolini given a stage, at least for a while, by the misery of others.

Glad I could settle that.

Carry on.

Masklighting

Whether government responded to Covid with draconian lockdowns (New York, the UK, Germany, Norway) or deferred to individual responsibility (most of the rural west), or skittered back and forth between both extremes (Italy, Sweden), Covid infection rates have seemed to exhibit the behavior of…

…well, respiratory viruses, waxing and waning along with weather conditions more than any government action, or lack of it.

But throughout, the pro-authoritarian (“Mascist”) wing of America’s response has had one consistent villain; Americans. “If they only followed the rules and wore their masks”, they whinge (when not whinging about the feds’ response), “we’d have already conquered this” – completely ignoring the fact that many of the places that “conquered” the virus with aggressive measures are still, or have started, suffering horribly of late).

Of course, it’s pure gaslighting. Even early in the summer, before the “Mask Wars” became part of the ongoing cultural bar brawl, Americans were wearing masks voluntarily at among the highest rates in the Western world.

And, studies show, they always have, and still are:

The data, released in [the CDC’s] weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report, is roughly in line with other polls showing that most Americans report wearing masks, at least when they are inside stores.

For example, Pew Research reported in August that 85 percent of 13,200 adults they surveyed said they wore masks in stores, up from 65 percent in June.

In a National Geographic poll released early this month, 92 percent of 2,200 Americans surveyed said they always or sometimes wore a mask when leaving the house.

Now, this thread isn’t about whether masks are or aren’t effective – that discussion has happened more than a few times in the comment section.

It’s about government – as it becomes ever more authoritarian – using “masks” as a vehicle to blame the average schnook for its own failings in dealing with the pandemic.

Which is only going to get worse over the winter.

Yet Another Order

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Saint Paul, Minnesota
November 22, 2020
For Immediate Release

Dictator-for-Life Walz today announced a new Executive Order intended to save Minnesota lives from the deadliest virus ever known, Covid-19.

“Some have questioned the wisdom of my Executive Orders, citing downstream consequences as reasons why the Orders should not have been issued and should not be obeyed. These questions undermine public confidence in the government and put everyone at risk of dying in agony. Therefore, effective immediately, no person shall question any of my Orders at any time, for any reason, on pain of imprisonment or deportation.”

In response to Republican claims that the order constituted a prior restraint on free speech which somehow violated the “Constitution,” a spokesbeing for Attorney General Ellison said, “Since the Governor’s order is authorized by statute and has not been overturned by the Legislature, it is presumptively valid. There is ample legal precedent for this measure provided in the Alien Friends and Sedition Acts of 1798. The notion that the Governor lacks the authority to suspend people’s so-called “Constitutional rights” during the time of state-wide emergency is absurd on its face.”

Local ACLU officials called a press conference to support the order, pointing out that Republican Hate Speech is not Protected Speech.

From Saint Paul, Joe Doakes, reporting

The ACLU bit is so close to “not satire at all” that it’s a little scary.

Orders

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed a week or so back:

Saint Paul, Minnesota
November 20, 2020
For Immediate Release

Dictator-for-Life Walz today announced a new Executive Order intended to save Minnesotans from the deadliest virus ever known, Covid-19.

“It is well documented that Black people are more susceptible than Whites,” he said. “It stands to reason the more people who have the virus, the more people they can spread it to. We must prevent the spread of the virus which could overwhelm medical facilities and leave thousands of people to die untreated. Therefore, effective immediately, all Black people are required to present themselves to local authorities for removal to permanent and isolated Relocation Authority camps where they will be confined for the duration of the emergency.”

In response to Republican claims that such an order would somehow violate the “Constitution,” a spokesman for Attorney General Ellison stated, “Since the Governor’s order is authorized by statute and has not been overturned by the Legislature, it is presumptively valid. There is ample legal precedent for this measure provided in the Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. United States. The notion that the Governor lacks the authority to suspend people’s so-called “Constitutional rights” during the time of state-wide emergency is absurd on its face.”

Local Black Lives Matter and NAACP officials called a press conference to protest the order but were summarily arrested and have not been heard from since. It is believed they are the first Blacks to be sent to the Relocation Camps, although that rumor cannot be confirmed.

In Saint Paul, Joe Doakes, reporting.

It only seems preposterous if you haven’t been following Governor Fredo and Mayor Squiggy in New York.

Or, y’know, history in general.

Memory

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Memory is a survival trait.

Squirrels remember where they buried the nut, so they can eat it later
to survive the winter.  Those that don’t, die.

Children remember burning their finger, so they treat fire
respectfully.  Those who don’t, burn to death.

Conservatives remember past public policy disasters, so we can avoid
repeating them.  We use monuments and books to help us remember.

Liberals remember . . . nothing.  Nothing ever happened before they were
born, except slavery, which was bad and therefore everything that
happened before they were born, is bad.  So it must all be torn down and
thrown out and replaced with something that sounds better.  And it must
be done right now, because Liberals have no patience for history lessons
or experience or hard-gained wisdom.  Why would they need any?  What
could possibly go wrong?

Half the population believes President Trump bungled the Covid response
by failing to impose a travel ban and nation-wide lock-down in January,
when Covid hit the news.  They literally cannot remember that we spent
January dealing with impeachment, or the World Health Organization
telling us Covid was nothing to worry about, or hand washing and
elbow-bumps as sensible precautions, or all the Democrat protests over
banned flights from China.  They believe 200 million Americans died of
Covid because they don’t remember differently.

Loss of memory is an anti-survival trait and half our society is eagerly
embracing it.  This does not bode well for the continued existence of
the nation.

Joe Doakes

I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to say “Progressives” (I’m not gonna continue debasing the term “liberal” – the left did enough of that) have no memory.

Orwell showed us how important controlling history – our “collective” story about ourselves – was to a would-be tyrant. This has been borne out in countless socialist and totalitarian regimes – knowing the wrong history could be a lethal error.

Having the correct memory, the one one is told to have, correctly and punctually, is a survival trait, historically (ahem) on the left.

The Myth Of Continuity

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There’s a myth that the United States of America began with the
Revolution in 1776 and continues today. I say it’s a myth, because the
name is the same, but the contents have changed.

In 1776 to 1787, we fought a war and then attempted to form a nation
under the Articles of Confederation. Not the same form of government we
have now.

 From 1787 until 1861, we had a free association of independent units
under one Constitution collectively called “the United States” but that
union perished when the southern states attempted to leave and the
northern states invaded and conquered them.

 From 1865 until about 1935, we had a weak central government to handle
constitutional responsibilities with foreign nations and a collection of
state governments to handle local affairs. That nearly died with the
Great Depression and FDR’s gigantic increase in the size, scope and
domestic power of federal government. It was finished off by 1975, with
LBJ Great Society, immigration reform, anti-war protest, affirmative
action, feminism. We are living in the ruins with transgender rights,
systemic white privilege, antifa, and ever-smaller warring factions. The
nation is disintegrating; we simply haven’t started the shooting in earnest.

The final proof is that every Governor can invoke emergency powers to
suspend the Constitution and no one blinks an eye. Walz banned religion.
He banned the right to make a living, except for favored contributors. 
He issued a state-wide house arrest restricting travel. These acts would
have been unthinkable under previous versions of the United States but
today they are not only accepted, they are vigorously defended by half
the population.

I don’t know what the next country will be like. It will not be a
collection of independent, proud, pioneers pulling themselves up by
their bootstraps. That country is long dead. When enough people get sick
of the uncertainty and violence, I fear they will turn to a strong man,
a dictator, to impose order by ridding the country of independent,
proud, people who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. Small
business men. Entrepreneurs. Independent thinkers. Me.

Not looking forward to it.

Joe Doakes

Nope.

If He Didn’t Exist…

I’m pretty sure the Minnesota GOP would have to invent Ryan Winkler.

This was him over the weekend on social media:

So in other words, our House Majority Leader stands for the abolition of Federalism – one of the things our country got completely right.

Oh, he’s not done yet:

He went to Harvard, you know – but apparently never read the Federalist Papers.

The Constitution is precisely about denying unlimited power to the majority!

Not sure if Winkler, and the people he’s aping, want a civil war

But if they do, it’s hard for me to figure what they’d do differently.

Tag It And Bag It

Dennis Prager puts it well – the Left (today’s extreme left, not the center-left American liberalism of Hubert Humphrey or John F. Kennedy) destroys everything it touches.

The American Civil Liberties Union of the sixties and seventies, the ACLU of Nat Hentoff and other principled center-left civil libertarians was an organization with a political point of view, but that realized civil liberties were for everyone; that if the Manhattan crowd infringed rural Missouri’s civil liberties, they’d eventually regret it.

I’ve been joking – and then “joking” (see Berg’s 21st Law) – since the nineties that the ACLU should obey truth in advertising laws and change its name to the San Francisco, Hollywood and Upper East Side CIvil Liberties Union (SFHaUESCLU), since that’s really all they represent.

So I’m not sure if I should be happy or concerned that the ACLU has dropped all pretense to the contrary.

Peaceable Assembly

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

First Amendment of the Constitution protects the fundamental right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
60 days of rioting, burning down buildings, destroying property, is not what the Framers contemplated. Those are not peaceful protests so they’re not covered by the First Amendment. They are Insurrection, which must be put down to preserve civil order.

Portland needs to announce that we’ve had our little fun, but we’re done now. Starting tonight, anybody suspected of Riot will be shot on sight. Then shoot a few people,  “a whiff of the grape,” to encourage the others.

The time-out from reality is over. We are going back to constitutional republic.

Joe Doakes

The government of Portland – like that of Minneapolis, except apparently the Charter Commission – is so dependent on the (politically connected parents and aunts and uncles of the) mob in the streets, they wouldn’t dare raise a finger to them.

Let’s Set The Record Straight, Here

Since the topic of political “extremism” is on everyone’s mind, I may as well get this out there.

I’m an extremist.

I’m an extremist for Western Civilization.

I’m an extremist for the legacy of the value of the individual that comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition.

I am a zealot for that civilization’s rejection of group guilt for the sins of the individual.

I am a full blown foot soldier for the idea that rights – freedom of expression, conscience, innocence until proof of guilt, and defending my life, family, home, freedom and community – are all indivisible parts of being human, not “privileges” granted to you by a benevolent government (and taken away by a less-benevolent one).

I am a militant (intellectually speaking, and here’s hoping it can stay that way) for the notion that “citizenship” means having all the powers, rights and responsibilities of government, allowing me (and you!) to govern a society together, regardless of (indeed, ignoring completely) the rest of our various identities.

I’m a howling berserker (again, purely intellectually, here) for the free markets of ideas as well as goods, which has made this civilization the most humane human system in all of history.

I am a full-blown crusader for the tolerance of dissent, and indeed exaltation of informed criticism of and dissent from our rulers, our laws, and indeed the imperfections of Western Civilization itself that our civilization, pretty much alone among all the world’s cultures through history, invented – as well as for the ability to tolerate, learn from, and co-exist with other cultures as equals in the eyes of God and the law…

…while keeping, living by, and proselytizing the parts of our civilization that have made it the system in human history that has most effectively and systematically upheld the dignity and value of human life, even with all its (amply studied) imperfections.
I’m a stormtrooper for the ideal that these freedoms, exaltations, values and traditions are not zero sum propositions; that taking freedom away from someone doesn’t give you more.

I’m a flag-waving militiaman for the imperative to spread those freedoms to as many people in the world as want them – and, if needed, defend them from those who don’t.
For those things, I’m an extremist. A peaceful one, one that welcomes both agreement and civil disagreement.

But I’m absolutely an extremist. You can have my Western Civilization when you pry it from my cold, hand – and you will spend an eternity trying to pry it from my hot, living soul, and failing.

“Extremism in the defense of freedom is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue”
— Barry Goldwater.

Putsch

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Republicans agreed to police reform bills in the second special session.  This is a mistake.

There should be NO legislative action, on ANY proposal, until Dictator Walz relinquishes his totalitarian control over the entire state back to the peoples’ elected representatives in the legislature.

Otherwise, it never ends.  Ever.  And in that case, why do we need the Legislature at all?

Joe Doakes

One hopes the MNGOP gets this message.

The Unmarked Van Of Remorseless Logic

I’ve had a couple people ask what I thought about Federal law enforcement, driving rental vans and wearing generic mil-cop camouflage, grabbing individual “protesters” off the streets of Portland.

To be honest, I’m not of two minds about it. Maybe three or four.

Bear with me, here.

I was a Libertarian with a capital L. I’m still a libertarian with small “l'”. I read my Soviet history (which is why I’m not a DFLer or a “progressive”). Cops descending out of nowhere and throwing people into vans and driving off is not a good look.

And if you can show me that those people have disappeared without a trace – as opposed to appearing in federal court being arraigned on charges involving destroying federal property and other federal crimes – then we’ve got something to talk about.

On the other hand:

I will wager a shiny new quarter that every single one of these “peaceful” protesters is going to appear in enough video, witness statements and other credible evidence to support at least an indictable allegation that they were involved in destroying federal (as in “you and me paid for it”) property, and/or travelled across state lines to organize other peoples’ felonies.

Now – given that Portland has in effect been turned over to “Anti”-Fa [1], and in effect told its own police to leave them alone and get out of the way, what’s going to be the best way to get these alleged violent conspirators – rolling up in a van labeled “FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT”, warning the wannabe tough guys to form a mob and get their bats and bike chains and guns out, and starting yet another riot?

Or maybe take the subtle approach, get the organizers they want, and leave without letting the mob destroy the neighborhood – again?

On the other, other hand:

All of you people demanding openness and transparency in law enforcement in tracking and arresting (for sake of argument) people who are credibly alleged to be organizers of violent riots that have caused tens of millions of dollars of damage to private, local and federal property: Where were you brave, iconoclastic souls in 2011-2013, when prosecutors in Wisconsin were serving no-knock “John Doe” warrants with SWAT teams armed not one degree behind the Specal Forces fashion curve, along with gag orders signed by courts that the Kangaroos released a statement saying they didn’t want to be associated with, against people accused of…

…supporting Scott Walker for Governor?

Where were you?

Is opaque government only a problem when it’s the people you agree with (?) getting arrested under unseemly circumstances?

And on the other, other, other hand:

Is Federal law enforcement and the whole federal justice system, with its 98% conviction rate and its indulgent rules that allow federal prosecutors to squeeze people to choose between guilty pleas or having their lived completely destroyed and being personally, legally and financially ruined forever, too powerful?

Well, I agree – and if you root for that same system when they pick out a white collar criminal to hound to death (read Howard Root’s “Cardiac Arrest” for a great local story by a guy who beat the rap – at the cost of $25 million), but get the vapors when it’s an entitled, upper-middle-class, over-schooled but under-educated “progressive” anarchist, then yes, I am going to point out your (let’s be polite here) inconsistency.

Explosive Allegations

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Every year, I scan the news for stories of blind, fingerless, homeless Wisconsinites crossing the border into Minnesota.  Still haven’t found any. 

Fireworks that fly or explode are illegal in Minnesota.  Governor Walz vetoed a bill to legalize them.  But they’re legal to buy in Wisconsin and the Dakotas, so in a massive act of civil disobedience, Minnesotans cross the border to bring fun home.  The Twin Cities really did transform into Mogadishu for a couple of hours on Saturday night; sounded like it, at least.

DFL Karens insist fun fireworks are too dangerous for Minnesotans.  Firecrackers could blow your fingers off.  Bottle rockets could shoot someone’s eye out.  Your aerial display mortar could set the roof on fire.  You’re simply too stupid to follow the instructions printed on every package of Black Cats since I was a kid: “Lay on ground. Light fuse.  Get away.” 

If that were true, you’d think the news media would show the hordes of maimed and homeless refugees from neighboring states coming here for medical treatment, food, shelter, generous welfare benefits, solicitous churches . . . but no, there are no refugee stories.  I see only two possibilities: the news media is hiding the story, or there are no refugees which means Karen is lying.

And yet fireworks are banned.  There were 59 injuries from fireworks in Minnesota last year, half of them kids burned by sparklers which are completely legal.  For this, we ban fireworks in the entire state?  

The risk is negligible but the ban is permanent.  I see only one possibility:  DFLers believe Cheeseheads are so much smarter than Minnesotans, they can be trusted with freedom.  We cannot.  So they won’t give us any.

Actually, that explains a lot. 

Joe Doakes

And not just about fireworks.

Love Letter To America

Manny Laureano – friend of the blog, of the show, and of the good guys all over the Metro – writes this love letter to America on the Independence Day holiday.

You should read the whole thing.

I’m gonna pullquote a bit anyway:

I love being an American.

I love that in an airport terminal I can hear a strong Bronx accent, a Texas drawl, a sweet North Carolina lilt, and L.A. surfer-speak all spoken by people whose parents came from Germany, Japan, Ghana, and the Dominican Republic.

I love being an American.

I love that I’m different from others in the world. Because I love that I am secure enough in who I am to not want to be like others. I am content with the richness that is part of who I am without coveting the nature of others while accepting my foibles. I derive pride from living under the oldest constitution in the world. I love that we have grown over the last 233 years to amend that constitution to reflect some newer acknowledgements over earlier decisions. I love that we can bend without snapping in two although once we came close. We fought an internal battle and spent a long time healing.

And I love being an American.

And reading this – among so many other stimuli – so do I.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Spectrum

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Political scientists love to talk about the Spectrum, left-wing parties versus right-wing parties.
I look at it more from the point of view of government control. Anarchists are on one end, no government control it all. Totalitarians are on the other end, government control of everything.
Pure Liberty is pure license. It’s the right to do anything you want at anytime to anybody. We saw that during the riots. That’s anarchy. Nobody wants that.
Which means that in order to have real Liberty, there must be order. And ordered Liberty requires restrictions on what people can do. And restrictions require someone to enforce them, with force if necessary. Which means police.
If Minneapolis seriously goes forward with the plan to abolish the police, they are intentionally heading toward Anarchy territory. It’s no wonder businesses are uninterested in rebuilding there, and residents are talking about fleeing.
Joe Doakes

WIthout order, prosperity is impossible.

WIthout prosperity, liberty is pretty much academic.

Without liberty, prosperity is pretty much a “ruling clicque” thing.

The tension between liberty and order is what kept the founding fathers up all night writing the Constitution.

Never Waste A Crisis – Libertarian Edition

I pointed out with a bit of mindly tart surprise last month that California, after voting in lock step with the statist agenda for the past thirty years, had rediscovered the virtues of federalism via the current public health crisis, and the (to progressives) greater crisis of Hillary losing the election.

That was a tad sarcastic – but as José Niño at the Mises Institute points out, after quite a few policians romping and playing in power like Scrooge McDuck bathing in his coin vault…:

Amusingly, the COVID-19 saga has been host to some of the most flagrant political posturing in recent memory. Early in March (which feels like eons ago in today’s frenetic media cycle) New York City mayor de Blasio was telling people to go to the movies and have fun. Now, he’s done a complete 180, shutting down most private businesses and even calling for the nationalization of certain industries and begging the federal government for military aid to combat the epidemic.

…there’ve been some object lessons show, and learned, on the value of federalism coming out of this crisis:

We are indeed living in the strangest of times when LA Times columnists are expressing sentiments that better belong in a passage of Human Action. The jury is still out on whether this is merely oppositional posturing from the Left, but any kind of conversation entailing the restoration of federalism is a welcome surprise.

The “authorized” right can generally be counted on to disappoint its constituents who genuinely believe in small government principles. To their credit, there have been some bright spots on their side in the present pandemic. States like Texas have gone out of their way to declare gun stores essential businesses and to deregulate several parts of its economy at a time where bureaucracy is impeding various vital economic functions.

Elected officials like State Representative Matt Gurtler in Georgia have raised the stakes by floating a proposal that would allow law-abiding Georgians to concealed carry anywhere. South Dakota governor Kristi Noem projected a stark contrast in her relatively lax approach to handling the pandemic. Jeff Deist used her example as the basis for several pragmatic measures that state governments can take to reopen their economies without throwing civil liberties into the wood chipper. No doubt there is much work to be done, but we can find glimmering signs of promise every now and then.

The example I like to use – after Katrina, gun rights groups noticed the speed at which Louisiana and New Orleans’ layers of incompetent Democrat governments turned to confiscating the firearms of law-abiding citizens. In 2015, Minnesota’s gun rights groups pushed a law in Minnesota barring the state from confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens under states of emergency, or shutting down gun stores before every other store in the state was closed. The bills passed, with bipartisan majorities in both chambers powerful enough to scare Governor Dayton’s handlers away from telling him to sign a veto.

We – the good guys – need to do that with every other civil right.

Starting in November.

Timing

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Newest Covid statistics.

10% of the people tested got the virus.  1.5% of those who got the virus, needed hospitalization. One-half of one percent of those who got the virus, died from it.  80% of the deaths are in nursing homes.  No child has died from it.
 
The computer model estimates from the press conference in March, when the Governor imposed the lock down, were that 2.5 million Minnesotans would get it, of all ages, from 6 months to 91 years; that 15% of those who get it would require hospitalization; 5% of them would require ICU care; 1% would die. 
 
Testing proves the computer model was wrong.  Can we abandon the model, now?  Focus our efforts on those who need them, liberate the rest to go back to work so we can pay for it all?
 
Joe Doakes

I’m not going to say “nothing about Govenor Walz’s response has anything to do with public health.

But nearly every part of the response – especially last week’s luke-warm reopening announcement – is driven by political expedience.

In this case, most notably, as defiance of the state of emergency burgeons, the expedience of appearing to still be in charge.

Representative Karen

Tina LIebling, representative from…

…well, it might as well be Eastasia, given her attitude about, well, the role of the elected legislature, especially the part that’s in opposition., But I digress.

Here’s the representative, talking about GOP Senators who were doing the – let me make sure I’m perfectly clear oh this – actual job they were elected to do, standing up for their constituents’ interests.

No matter, to Rep. Karen:

Hey, at least state rules forced her to unblock me!