Easier To Get A Basketball Than A Book

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A buddy sent me this.  I forward it, unedited:

“Here in a nutshell is what’s wrong with this nation:

Roseville Library

Mon-Thu10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri-Sat10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun12 – 5 p.m.

Closed – Thursday, January 1, 2015
Closed – Monday, January 19, 2015
Closed – Monday, February 16, 2015
Closed – Sunday, April 5, 2015
Closed – Monday, April 20, 2015
Closed – Monday, May 25, 2015
Closed – Saturday, July 4, 2015
Closed – Monday, September 7, 2015
New Brighton Library will be closed Sept 7-11 for Community Center maintenance!
Closed – Monday, October 12, 2015
Closed – Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Closed – Thursday, November 26, 2015
Open – Friday, November 27, 2015
Closed – Thursday, December 24, 2015
Closed – Friday, December 25, 2015
Open – Thursday, December 31, 2015 until 5 p.m.
Alert – New Brighton Library will close at 4 p.m. on December 31, 2015
Closed – Friday, January 1, 2016


The library is closed pretty much all hours and days that any working person could get there.  Closed at 5 on Friday and Saturday.  Opens at noon on Sunday, for 5 hours.  When I had the kids for the weekends I could get there only if we made a special day of it, couldn’t do anything else around getting to the library.  We could just barely get there on Sunday if we ate early then got on the road right after to make it to the hostage exchange on time.   Roseville is the busiest library in the entire system, hence it has the longest hours.  The others are far worse.

Books bad, basketball good.


Rec centers:

MondayFriday – 6:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Saturday – 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m
Sunday – 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

All sites are CLOSED for the following major holidays:

Thursday, November 26 – Thanksgiving Day
Friday, December 25 – Christmas Day
Friday, January 1 – New Year’s Day
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day


So the library, where books are, is closed on any holiday, real or imagined, on weekend evenings, most of the day on Sunday, etc.  Where as the rec center is open nearly all the time, and the feds want to spend money keeping them open at midnight for basketball.

Joe Doakes

Back when the GOP controlled the Legislature, the DFL used to whinge “they want to close the libraries!”.  I used to ask “What?  They’re open?”

The library in my neighborhood – a neglected old place that’s perpetually on the city’s chopping block, and hasn’t nearly the hours that the huge Roseville library has – seems to be open at times most convenient to…library staffers.  Not school kids, much less working adults.

And don’t get me started on the fact that the new Roseville “library” seems to allot about 20% of its space to…books.

But maybe that’s what the President means when he prattles about guns being easier to get than books; he’s referring to guns and books owned by government.  You can’t get to a book during hours any working person could get there – but the Department of Justice will give you a gun – if you’re a narcotraficante.

Taking Back The Tenth Amendment By Default

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

America was founded on the belief that people were endowed by their Creator with certain rights, including the right to life, which carries with it the right to defend one’s life from those who would take it.  A gun-free zone denies effective self-defense which jeopardizes the right to life; it is an unjust law.


The classical philosophers from St. Augustine and Abraham Lincoln through Thoreau, Martin Luther King and Gandhi agree we have a moral duty to obey just laws, and a moral duty to disobey unjust laws.


Turns out, guns are common on that Oregon college campus despite the gun-free policy.   Lots of classical philosophers there.  Good for them!


Joe Doakes

That may be the best hope for democracy that we have; much of our society – at least between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre – is becoming in tune with the idea of nullifying laws by ignoring them.

At least when it comes to gun free zones, speed limits and the like.

You gotta start somewhere.

Sell At A Loss. Make Up For It With Volume.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

O’Sullivan’s Law states any organization that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.  It’s tongue-in-cheek, but also true.  Case in point:

The Minnesota State Bar Association was started as a trade association to protect and enhance lawyers making a living.  Lawyers pay MSBA a fee to advertise themselves as “Certified Specialist” in certain areas of law.  The bar association collects so much from that program, people are asking why we’re sitting on a pile of money.  The technical answer is “when the present glut of Baby Boomer specialists retires, we’ll need the money to fund the program” but that cuts no mustard with the More Money For Poor People crowd, they always have their hands out.

So MSBA is spending the surplus on vouchers for classes – not all of them, only the classes some staffer decides are worthy.  The logic is: we overcharged you in the parent company, so we’re giving you a voucher to take select classes from our daughter company, not free but at a discount.  Isn’t that great?

The one idea that never occurs to anybody is “Give the money back.”  Or even “cut the fee going forward.”  No, they’re keeping the overbilling, maintaining the overpricing, and dribbling out coupons.  Typical Liberal thinking: all money belongs to us.  If any other corporation did it, the class action lawyers would be all over them.

And yet, they can’t figure out why half the lawyers in the state don’t belong to the Liberal Lawyer’s club.

Joe Doakes

If every person in Calcutta took on the job of writing Avery Librelle satires, we could still not keep up with all the material.


The American political class spends a lot of time imitating the British – or trying to – on things like national health care, traffic roundabouts, soccer, gun control…some of them even wish for a parliament.

But here’s hoping they can find the minimal guts to support something anyone smarter than Minnesota’s state government – meaning most everyone – knows is a huge, harmless improvement over the organic original, the e-cigarette?

The [Public Health England] report, which was overseen by Peter Hajek, a professor of clinical psychology at the Wolfson Institute for Preventive Medicine, and Ann McNeill, a professor of psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience at King’s College London, is very clear on the relative hazards of smoking and vaping:

While vaping may not be 100% safe, most of the chemicals causing smoking-related disease are absent and the chemicals which are present pose limited danger. It has been previously estimated that EC [electronic cigarettes] are around 95% safer than smoking. This appears to remain a reasonable estimate.

The evidence concerning e-cigarettes’ effectiveness in helping smokers quit is more limited but promising:

Recent studies support the Cochrane Review findings that EC can help people to quit smoking and reduce their cigarette consumption. There is also evidence that EC can encourage quitting or cigarette consumption reduction even among those not intending to quit or rejecting other support. It is not known whether current EC products are more or less effective than licensed stop-smoking medications, but they are much more popular, thereby providing an opportunity to expand the number of smokers stopping successfully.

It would seem to be a no-brainer; given a choice between losing the tar, the carbon monoxide, the second-hand smoke and the rest of smoking’s putative irritations, or keeping them but badgering them, go with A).

But “no brainer” is too complicated for Minnesota’s political class.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I went to a new restaurant and hated it – there were too many menu choices and they all sounded so good that I couldn’t decide because I worried there was a better choice.

Cops have that problem.  The deputy sheriff guarding our building wears a Batman Belt giving her the choice of responding to problems with handcuffs, baton, pepper spray, Taser, pistol . . . too late, you’re dead.  Took too long to decide because you were worried there was a better choice.

We should go back to the old way: nightstick and a pistol, forget the rest.  If you go in the cop car peacefully, we won’t need handcuffs; if not, you’ll either go in the ambulance or the hearse and again, we won’t need handcuffs.  Should make the rules of behavior easier for cops and much clearer for People Whose Lives Matter.

Joe Doakes

I’m gonna indulge in a rare disagreement with Joe here.  The less we treat cops like medieval knights and civilians like peasants, the better.

Doakes Sunday: Big Talk

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is disturbing.  These people are delusional.  And nobody is calling them on it, which is the same as encouraging them to it.


We’re ready for war!”


No, you’re not.  Unarmed looters are not ready for war.  Teenagers shooting pistols sideways, are not ready for war.  You’re ready for a “war” like the War on Poverty, where somebody hands you free stuff.  You’re ready for a “war” like the Palestinians, where you stage fake outrages for sympathetic media.


You’re not ready for the kind of war you’re likely to get if you stop shooting each other in the ghetto and come out to the suburbs where the hunters live, where a 9mm pistol is not a terror weapon but an object of derision, where even liberal Democrats own a shotgun and deer rifle with ammo on hand and experience using it.  Your weapons are useless beyond a city block, you have no food supplies for extended conflict or medical supplies to treat wounded.  Your communications are cell phones until the authorities shut off the towers.  Your tricked-out Buicks have limited transport load and no off-road maneuvering capability.  Your enemy won’t be wearing uniforms for easy identification, they’ll be in makeshift blinds, wearing camouflage, using 3x scopes and defending their own turf.


The government would no doubt call out the military to preserve order, attempting to disarm the suburbanites while providing asafe space for rioters.  Might work.  Or some hothead homeowner might shoot some National Guardsmen and then all bets are off.


Chant all you want, in the ghetto.  Shoot each other, rob your own stores, burn the entire thing down, if that’s what makes you happy.  Just don’t start believing your own fantasies.  That would get real ugly, real quickly, with no winner in sight and no clear path to victory.


Joe Doakes

This blog eschews big, bloody-minded talk, no matter who it’s from.

Which puts me 50% ahead of the Department of Homeland Security.

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…


Protection For We, But Not For Ye

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Some local folks lost their home for non-payment of real estate taxes.  Their son allegedly showed up at the county offices, threatened some staff, broke a window.  A restraining order was issued but staff wasn’t satisfied.

“A piece of paper won’t keep him away, he might come back with a gun. We need protection,” they told the County Manager.

Like what?  A guy with a badge?  We have that, the private security guard at the door.

No, he’s just a rent-a-cop.  We are a unit of County government, we want a Deputy Sheriff.

Pull a deputy off patrol to babysit an office building?  How about a Reserve Deputy?  Wears the same uniform and badge, is that okay?

No, Reserve Deputies don’t carry a gun.  We want a real deputy.

So what you want is a Good Guy with a Gun to defend you from the possible Bad Guy with a Gun?

Not necessarily, it could be a female deputy; but basically, yes.

So we got one, she’s been sitting in the squad in the parking lot.  With her gun.

Amazing how being personally targeted clarifies one’s thinking.

Heather Martens would be appalled.

Joe Doakes

Well, I for one think Heather would looooove a police state.

Check Your Privilege

With a nod to Andrew Lee at the lesser talk station, I think it is in fact time for Minnesota’s left to check it’s smothering, entitled sense of privilege.

Lee read a piece on the air – “38 examples of campus liberal privilege.”   The entire piece refers to how it’s possible for college and university students to spend an entire academic career without ever having any of their biases challenged.

But it doesn’t end graduation – not in the Twin Cities.

  • If you are a tenured professor, with lifetime job security based entirely on the fact that you stayed in school three times as long as the rest of the workforce?  And who uses that sinecure to lecture the rest of society on How Things Should Be? Check your privilege.
  • If you are a Macalester anthropology graduate whose idea of “debate” is posting a Stephen Colbert photo meme because you’ve never had to confront to do since that wasn’t rendered in the form of a giggly cartoon, it’s time to check your privilege.,
  • If you are a Subaru driving, MPR listening, Saint Olaf or Carlton degree holding, free range alpaca wearing, Whole Foods shopping social justice warrior, you need to not only check your privilege, but honestly tell us when the last African-American you a match that wasn’t at a nonprofit office.

I may have to continue the list sometime…

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.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Laptop hard drive died, extended warranty sent tech to my house to replace it.  Charming Black woman, prompt and efficient but thick accent.  She’s from Ethiopia.  She said that if you get crosswise with the government, yourproperty can be seized and bureaucrats will harass youdeny you permitsaudit you.

I was afraid to ask her – are you talking about Ethiopia, or about being a Conservative in the United States of Obama?

Joe Doakes

To quote a great American statesperson: what difference does it make at this point?

Rights, Schmights

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails as part of a theme he’s had for a couple days:

My neighbor just renewed her Permit to Reproduce.  She’s good to go for another five years.

You didn’t know about that?  Oh yes, it turns out that Deciding to Have a Child is not a Right protected by the Constitution, it’s a Privilege given by the government to those who qualify.  Applicants must be over 21 years of age, reside in this country legally, take a class at personal expense, demonstrate proper technique before a certified evaluator, show photo ID and submit an application with payment of fees to the County, authorize release of medical data and criminal history . . . it’s fairly involved, requires planning ahead and costs a bit of money.  But the permit is necessary to ensure no child is born unwanted, or born into poverty.  It’s a common sense birth-control requirement.

Wait, did I say Reproduce?  I meant Carry.  Sorry, my bad.

Joe Doakes

Someone’s gotta make sure we’re using our rights correctly.

The Madding Horde

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

“Doc. No. XXX is stated as being expired, but was not listed on the spread sheet. Please make sure that this is inserted and in the future when you discover a new one please add it to the list. Thanks much.”

Another example of a clerical mind-set employee who knows the procedures, but not the reason for the procedures.

I started the spreadsheet as a way for me to track expired restrictive covenants that kept showing up in conveyances. Most of those documents were recorded by developers in the 1950’s, before suburbs had zoning ordinances, so they afflicted whole subdivisions with crap like “can’t build closer than X feet from the property line” or “building must be at least X square feet” and of course, the ever popular “cannot sell to colored people.” They expired under the 40-year law but must be manually removed each time I see one.

Unless the restrictive covenants reserved easements for utilities or drainage, in which case they can’t be manually removed but instead must be corrected to say “reserves easement.”

I created the spread sheet so I wouldn’t have to read the restrictive covenant document every time; instead, I’d glance at the spread sheet to see which ones had to be carried forward with corrections and which could be omitted.

The document in question is a deed that affected one single platted lot. It did not reserve easements. So I ordered it removed. Now that it’s been removed, it’ll never be a problem in the future. Do we need to list that deed on the spreadsheet? No, of course not. But she has to make a point of sending an email to the whole office reminding us to do it, just to be certain we know that she’s paying attention to every single thing we do, searching for mistakes to correct them, to prove how valuable she is. It’s “quality control,” you see. To enhance “customer service.”

Except it’s not a mistake, I deliberately chose not to clutter up the spread sheet with useless data. The employee knows the procedure but not the reason for the procedure, and therefore confuses the means with the end. Of course, saying so would be mansplaining, a hurtful and sexist thing to do, and elitist because I have a degree as well as ageist since she’s been here 30 years and it’s disrespectful not to respect her opinion, even if wrong.

You wonder why government isn’t fast on its feet – it’s because of all the ankle-biters slowing us down.

Joe Doakes

Government bureaucracy – where people are penalized for being too good at their jobs.

Let Them Eat Paper

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Divorce case recently appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, sent back for more fact-finding on this question: were the parties even married? The Court of Appeals’ reasoning infuriates me.

When you fled to Thailand in 1975 to escape the Communists after the Americans abandoned Southeast Asia, and you got “married” to this guy that you met in a refugee camp, did you file a marriage certificate with the Thailand government? No? Well, then, the fact you’ve lived together for 40 years, had six kids together, filed married tax returns and owned real estate in Minnesota is interesting trivia but really, lady, if you can’t be bothered to fill out the proper forms, we have no sympathy for you at all. Shacking up with a guy – even with the tribal elders’ blessing – doesn’t give you the privilege to use the Minnesota divorce court. You can’t get divorced if you were never legally married.

Dude. It’s a refugee camp. There IS no government. And if there were, you’d be a fool to bring attention to yourself. No self-respecting government would issue a marriage certificate without a birth certificate, proof of residency, passport stamps showing legal entry, resident alien visa and payment of appropriate fees to every bureaucrat . . . none of which is possible in a war zone. You couldn’t get “legally” married even if you wanted to. It’s a REFUGEE camp.

Oh, and your husband claims you were already married to another guy when he married you. Well, yes, the guy who stayed behind to cover our escape. No, I don’t have a death certificate but I strongly suspect he was captured by the Pathet Lao so what do you think happened to him? No, I didn’t serve him with a Divorce Summons; there was nobody crazy enough to go back to serve it so I could get divorced while I was struggling to survive IN THE REFUGEE CAMP.

It’s as if these judges lived all their lives in safe, comfortable First World suburbs where the biggest disruption in life is weak Wi-Fi signal; they literally cannot conceive of a place where there are no forms to complete, no pens to complete them, no office to file them in.


Joe Doakes

What happened to official Minnesota’s vaunted “cultural sensitivity?”

Our Brahmins

Even in the wake of Heller and McDonald, Washington DC’s old-boy-and-girl network clamps down hard on civilian ownership of firearms.

Except for celebrities, and members of the political class:

By confirming that “members of Congress may maintain firearms within the confines of their office” and that they may transport otherwise illegal guns through the city — without any of the requisite checks, natch — the Metropolitan Police Department is effectively admitting that the standard rules do not apply to the political class. This, I suppose, should not be too surprising — this is the same police department, recall, that revealed earlier this year that it is happy to apply the city’s strict firearms laws to everybody except celebrities — but it grates nevertheless. Clearly, had Representative Buck not been a member of Congress, his behavior would have rendered him in violation of a broad array of harsh regulations — many of which carry felony charges.

It’s reminiscent of the eighties and nineties in New York City, when the average schnook couldn’t get a permit to carry a gun – but celebrities (Bill Cosby, William F. Buckley), government officials, and even media figures like the radical anti-gun NYTimes publisher Arthur Sulzberger, could; it was all in the connections.

But tying it directly to membership in the political class?  As Charles CW Cooke notes:

“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States,” the Constitution promises. Do tell.


With all the good news for gun owners lately, it’s hard – but essential – to keep in mind that the Orcs still hold sway in much of the country, and our freedom to defend our freedom is only incrementally safer than it was 30 years ago, and not until the last orc is wiped from public life will that change.


David “Iowahawk” Burge writes a rare, “not funny” tweet:


And he’s spent more time and effort fighting domestic dissent in the US – via the IRS’ gundecking conservative groups’ free speech via tax and campaign law and attacking dissenters, via “net neutrality”, and via his eternal campaign’s patrolling masses of droogs (in and out of the media), than he spent bringing free speech to the people of Iran, Venezuela, Cuba or anyplace else.

Political Muzak

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Obama Administration says banning ammunition protects the right to keep and bear arms.

It’s as if their speech-writer is a computerized buzz-word generator.  Doesn’t make any sense, doesn’t have to, won’t fool anybody and isn’t intended to.  It’s just soothing white noise.

Joe Doakes

I’ve been observing this for the past few years – mostly from Obama, but the Minnesota DFL as adopted it as well:

  1. Say whatever rhetorically fits the narrative
  2. Don’t worry about your voter base – low-information, gullible people, many of them with advanced degrees – prodding into it too deeply.
  3. Worry even less about the media bothering you with it.

It’s brilliant, really, if sliding into petty dictatorship is what you’re after.


Kevin Williamson came out with an excellent piece this past week, comparing transit policy to “progressive” policy on education (and, for that matter, firearms, although Williamson doesn’t connect the Second Amendment to his thesis.  Which is fine – that’s what I’m here for).  Our current school and transit systems are largely designed by the “haves” – people with power as much as money – to foist upon the “have nots”.  That’s why superhighways and transit lines always run through lower-income, usually ethnic neighborhoods – and why schools in minority areas are disproportionally awful.

Transit – like education – is sort of a “powerful person’s burden”.

Along those same lines, a neighbor emailed me some observations about some of our local potentates rolling up their sleeves (and pant cuffs) to take to the frozen streets by bus to…well, hit the taxpayer up to fill in the money pit a little more:

I happened to see on Twitter that some legislators are using transit this week. Said one, “transit users are less stressed.” He’s not interacting with the same transit passengers that I interact with!

On their tweets, they all look a bit too happy to be real transit riders, too. They definitely aren’t interacting with the people on the bus at all, or they wouldn’t be smiling. Like the Pulp song “Common People” that I learned about after William Shatner covered it- “I said pretend you’ve got no money, She just laughed and said, “Oh you’re so funny.” I said “Yeah? Well I can’t see anyone else smiling in here.”

For fun and games, see tweets with hashtag howweroll.

It reminds me of those pix of Senators Franken and Klobuchar, and Congresspeople McCollum and Ellison, and Representative Martens, riding the train…

…back on that long, slow opening day last June, looking all Jane Goodall “Peasants in the Mist”, smiling like they’re worried Kim Jong Il (or Greta Bergstrom, pardon the redundancy) are going to feed them to hungry dogs if they don’t smile hard enough.

Orwell Would Puke…

,,,at this proposal, from the usual assortment of Metrocrat hamsters.  It may be the worst anti-gun bill, and the most toxic attack on civil liberty, in recent years.

It would essentially allow any cop or domestic violence victim to claim you brandished a firearm and have the authorities remove all firearms from your house and person.

Without even a hint of due process.

I say again; without even a plaintive whiff of due process.

Now, this bill is DOA in the House; Tony Cornish, a legislator who makes Ted Nugent look like Oprah Winfrey on Second Amendment issues, is chair of the Public Safety Committee; the DFL may as well deliver the bill directly to the paper shredder.

So why do it at all?

Politics:  Because Ron “Did You Know I Went To Harvard?” Latz is running the show in the Senate public safety committee, so it’s pretty much guaranteed a floor vote.  Which means a bunch of GOP senators will be on the record with “no” votes, which will be dutifully relayed during the 2016 campaign as “Senator X voted to give firearms to domestic abusers and people who threatened cops!” by the Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota.

That’s my two cents worth, of course; I have no doubt that Ron Latz would love to send SWAT teams to the home of every law-abiding gun owner on principle, but the political realities don’t support it right now.

We’ll keep you posted.

UPDATE: GOCRA is taking this bill very seriously, and so should you:

Everyone has moments in life where things seem hopeless. A death in the family, a job loss, PTSD from military service, a divorce… Responsible gun owners know that a doctor or psychologist can help. But this bill would encourage doctors to trick you into signing away your rights!

Imagine: there you are. You’re hurting. You go see a professional. He listens, then says he can help. He gives you a pile of forms to sign. Buried among them is a form created by this bill — one that puts you on the NICS no-buy list. “Voluntarily.”

Call your legislator. Tell them this bill needs to be killed with fire.

Chanting Points Memo: Our Collective Burden

I got a brief shot at listening to the Jack Tomczak show this morning, on the lesser talk station.

They were talking about Minnesota’s “budget surplus”.

And they played an audio clip of Gov. Dayton, which pretty completely summed up the disconnect the DFL has on this issue.

In the audio clip, the governor referred to the surplus as “our collective good fortune”.

And this highlights a yawning golf of cognitive dissonance between DFLers (and others they’ve fooled) and the rest of Minnesota.

To a DFLer, budget surpluses are borne down from heaven in velvet-lined ivory chests on the wings of unicorns.

To the rest of us? The government’s “surplus” is our deficit. Every penny of that surplus came from what could’ve been a more productive use. Small business’ payroll; a manufacturers capital budget; your household budget and mine.

It’s not a “collective good fortune”; it’s a burden. It’s money taken out of the productive economy to run government, in excess of what government demanded in the first place; if the DFL has its way, it will be turned into permanent spending, to be wrenched from your wallets, your budgets, your bottom lines in perpetuity.

Surpluses are a bad thing. Deficits – provided they lead to spending cuts, rather than tax hikes – are a good thing.

Except for the permanent government class, of course.

Trial Balloon

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Obama Administration wants to ban popular rifle ammunition on the grounds it could be used in handguns.

We saw this under Clinton, too, with the “cop killer” bullet craze and fear of Thompson Center pistols. Then, as now, it was all cover for a ban they wanted all along.

I saw this ammo at Cabellas a while back and thought “I should stock up, for when case they ban it.” But of course, I didn’t own a .223 so I didn’t buy any. Crap, another million dollar investment opportunity, wasted.

Joe Doakes

On the other hand, if you are, or know, a lawyer, litigating the inevitable test cases will no doubt put some peoples kids through Ivy League schools…

The Cell Phone Neutrality Act Of 1987

Where would we be today if the federal government had enacted a “Cell Phone Neutrality” act in 1987?  A policy saying that nobody could pay a premium for a snazzy, newfangled, small cell phone until everyone had a big, clunky, expensive one?

How about a “Car Safety Neutrality” act in 1971, saying that no one could pay a premium for a car with airbags until everyone had a car with airbags?

What if we passed us a law saying that nobody could pay a few bucks extra for good healthcare until everyone had crappy healthcare… Oh, wait.

The United States government: giving the most successful piece of infrastructure of the 21st-century regulation that didn’t work in the 1930s.

Note to liberals/”progressives”:  when companies release “premium” products, other companies notice that less-“premium” people want them too – and they find ways to make those “premium” products more affordable.  And everyone wins.

Which is why poor people have cell phones, consumer electronics and cars of higher quality than the rich had 30 years ago – but their healthcare, education and mass transit keep getting worse.

Fashionable Bigotry

Conservatives and Christians have been saying it for years; there really is only one acceptable form of bigotry to our political class these days.

And as Maggie Gallagher at NRO shows, it‘s not just an idle complaint.  A disturbing number of the “educated” upper middle class hold some fairly intense bigotry against people of faith Christians.

“Restrict their ability to become judges, senators, representatives, member of Cabinet, military chief of staff and other powerful members of government,” said a man over 75 with a bachelor’s degree. “Should not be able to make decisions regarding the law, they should somehow have to be supervised if they are working with other people (drastic, I know),” said a woman under 45 with a master’s degree. “We should put in place mandatory extreme prison sentences for anyone or any group that attempts to take away civil liberties guaranteed by our constitution,” said a middle-aged man with a master’s degree. “Churches should not be allowed to provide orphanages and adoption programs,” said one elderly man with a doctorate. “I think we should restrict the indoctrination of children in religious dogma and ritual” said a middle-aged man with a master’s degree. Conservative Christians should “not be allowed to hold political office, be police etc., serve in the armed forces,” said another middle aged man with a doctorate.

Gallagher’s piece is actually a response to the movie “Kingsman”, which indulges in some pretty lurid eliminationist anti-Christianism.  And while Gallagher takes great (and probably correct) pains to note that it’s a minority opinion, nobody knows how minor the minority is:

“No academic inquiry has investigated how individuals from a highly educated and politically powerful subculture may express attitudes that dehumanize out-groups,” reports Yancey and Williamson. Until now. So I am concerned when Hollywood begins to gratify the kind of hatred on display by the minority of progressives, and for the same reasons Yancey and Williamson are concerned about the minority of socially empowered progressives who express open hatred, dehumanization, and even murderous fantasies about Christians. The fact that such views are openly expressed by even a minority of educated elites likely means that they are acceptable expressions in powerful subcultures.

There’s the rub; bigotry on the part of conservatives likely comes from its underclass; on the left, it’s from (at least parts of) its self-appointed “elite”.

Don’t believe me?  Ask President Obama to point you to a bigger, gun-clinging, snake-handling Jeebus freak.