What Happens In Nevada Used To Stay In Nevada

 31 years ago last winter, a shootout between US Marshals and neo-Nazi tax protesters brought an avalanche of federal law-enforcement to rural North Dakota. 

Even then, long before the rampant militarization of federal law enforcement, the feds stomped about the place like an occupying army:

The police – and, as I recall, a North Dakota National Guard armored personnel carrier – had surrounded the farmhouse. A dog darted from an outbuilding; a policeman shot the dog dead. The gunshot sparked more gunfire, and before long the farmhouse was completely riddled with bullet holes. Finally, the police moved in…

…to discover the farmhouse empty.

Now, there was a “happy” ending; the manhunt ended with Gordon Kahl and an associate dead, and his family and accomplices serving long jail terms. 

But I’ve wondered over the years – what if that manhunt would have happened at a time when everyone had the ability to publish, and broadcast video, in real time? 

Ditto controversial federal law enforcement actions like Waco? 

I ask because the alternative media played a vital role in last week’s Nevada range war:

In another era, Bundy would likely have been quietly run out of business and – literally – lost the farm. Now, thanks to his own efforts in reaching out and the participation of media watchers around the nation, along with volunteers who showed up to help, he and his family may actually get a fair hearing and a chance to keep what they have worked so long and so hard for. But, as I said above, this one will be developing for some time to come if I’m right.

If nothing else?  Today, if the government wants to do things in the night and fog, it has to stay in the dark and fog to do it. 

Which may be good news, or it may be bad…

Identifying The Enemy

It’s about time the Feds got busy stomping out the scourge of people exercising their First and Second Amendment rights!:

Author Brandon Turbeville says he was approached by an individual who works in a Columbia, South Carolina gun shop to relate the story of how an FBI agent entered the store on Monday, showed his credentials, before proceeding to ask a series of stunning questions.

Telling the gun store worker he was tasked with visiting all the firearms outlets in the local area to check on “suspicious purchases” for counterterrorism purposes, the agent then began discussing what in actual fact were “completely normal transactions,” such as, “paying with cash, purchasing long guns, and other similarly innocuous behavior.”

The FBI agent then reportedly made a shocking remark that almost seems too chilling to believe.

“If you see some Middle Eastern guy come in, you don’t have to be so worried about that. What we’re really looking for are people talking about being sovereign such as sovereign citizens or people talking about big government,” the agent reportedly stated.

On the one hand, it’s just Infowars.  So I’d normally assume at least some, er, “embellishment”. 

On the other hand, it’s not one bit out of line with DHS Secretary Napolitano’s agenda this past five years

I call it 50-50.

Religious Holiday

It’s time we observe the “progressive” movement’s foremost religious holiday, Tax Day!

It’s more than just the day the commoner pays obeisance to the debt we all owe Government.  No - Tax Day is a ritualized sacrifice of the fruit of our labor, combined with the symbolic gesture of giving control of one’s livelihood and destiny to (what the left believes is) something bigger and better than mere people.  Something that, though we and our aspirations may die, lives on, bigger and better than the sum of its parts.

So happy Tax Day, “progressives”!

The Sick Of It All Manifesto

I don’t really like politics.

“But Mitch – you write a bizarrely-prolific blog about politics!  You host the top-rated radio talk show in the United States [1]Surely you are obsessed with politics!”

Nope.  Hate ‘em.

Can’t stand most politicians, either…

…well, no.  That’s not really true.  For all of the joking people make about the depravity of politicians, I’ve found most of the politicians I’ve actually gotten to know personally - most of them state and local, since that’s my social circle - to be perfectly good people.  Some of them very, very much so.

“Operatives?”  The staffers that work for politicians, and the campaign consultants and issue and organizations?  They’re a mixed bag in many ways – some of them greasy and sleazy, some of them really good people – but they seem to share a furious focus and a brutal work ethic.  I’ll give ‘em that.

But politics, itself?  Never cared for it.

Partly because the best description of politics – the one I used to shake my head at 20-30 years ago, and attribute to the conspiratorial and overly-excited and the perspective challenged – is actually the best one there is; the monopoly on the legal use of force.    While the line does get repeated by the conspiratorial, the jacked-up and those with warped perspectives, it’s also true; to paraphrase Kevin Williamson, if you stop paying your taxes or send your kids to a non-government approved school or build your house taller or wider than the local zoning ordinances permit or get your buzz on or produce milk or cut hair outside of current government tolerances, you will, sooner or later, if you carry on with it,  eventually wind up with people with guns and handcuffs and tasers at your front door, ready to take your property, your money and your freedom with impunity.

There are really only two reasons I’m involved in politics:

  1. Hi, We’re From The Government, And We’re Here To Help (you into a paddy wagon):  I try, in my own way, to try to make sure the “government showing up at citizens’ doors with court orders and guns” situations are limited to the absolute moral minimum; let’s save the SWAT teams for the meth-crazed robbery rings, and bother less with unlicensed Eritrean hair braiders or people who don’t pay their school lunch bill.  There is a place and time for government to use force; those places and times have been getting way too common for the past fifty years or so.
  2. Those things that can’t be sustained, won’t be:  Our national debt is greater than an entire year’s GDP; every iPhone sold, every ear of wheat harvested, every lawn mowed and pair of shoes bought and class taught, every single whiff of economic activity including you buying food for your kids, for an entire year, might pay most of our current debt, and it’s not going anywhere.  And that doesn’t ‘even count the entitlements, over 100 trillion worth, that are lurking beyond that; over an entire year’s output from the entire planet’s economy; every grain of rice harvested in Indonesia, every Android assembled in Hunan, every bit of economic activity on the planet, for over a year, would pay it off.  Ready to go without groceries for 12 months?    Well, of course not – that can’t happen.  Either can paying off all those debts, without gutting the economy.  This level of debt can’t be sustained – and it won’t be.

So outside of local government – trying to inveigle Saint Paul into maybe plowing and patching streets, instead of building trains and refrigerated ice rinks in one of the coldest state capitols in America – my main goals out of politics are to…:

Try to bring the economy in for the softest landing possible:  Remember those debt numbers?   Of course you do – they’re like two grafs up there.   Worse comes to worst, and people will look back on 1933 as the good times.  The road back from debt like that is brutally difficult if you do it right – and let’s be honest, neither of our major political parties is going to do a damn thing about it (although the GOP pays the task the most convincing lip service, and I suspect contains the very few people who have both the chance and will to try to affect policy beyond the “lip service” (or, in the case of the big-L Libertarian party, “pipe dream”) level.  And John Boehner isn’t one of them; of Minnesota’s current congressional delegation, Michelle Bachmann is the only one I’ve even heard try to explain the problem to voters.  And she’s outta there in less than a year.

My main goal in politics is to try to do what I can to make sure my kids, and grandkids, and their kids, aren’t living on soup lines and scraping for change under bus seats because of our current government’s profligachy.

Shall Never Disappear From The Face Of The Earth:  And it’s not just the economy, stupid; poor societies become ugly societies, but quick. If you think “majority rules” is an ugly thing today, at a time when even a long recession has left us more prosperous than any society in history, then mob rule during the mother of all depressions will certainly leave a mark on you.

Progressivism – and its much more evil older brother, Statism – never, ever wastes a crisis.  It used World War I and the breakdown of European power to establish statist governments in major countries; the Depression allowed it to metastasize in a more benign form to the western liberal democracies and constitutional monarchies.

Imagine what everyone from George Soros on down the ranks to Alida Messinger could do with a complete collapse of the world’s lynchpin economy, taking down the entire world’s economic order?

I stay involved in politics because if good people don’t try to maintain some control of – again, being honest here – the state’s monopoly on force, bad people most certainly will.

And Yet…:  The collapse of the economy doesn’t have to be all bad.  The fact that government will be unable to afford to do much will mean that people will have to do things they way they did them – almost invariably better, at least in the US – before World War I.

I’m unstinting in recommending the book The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure, by Kevin D. Williamson.  In it, Williamson points out that not only did the private market, and just-plain-citiziens, do most of the things that government does today, but did it much better and much cheaper.

Wanna privatize Social Security?  There’ll be your chance!

Wanna make welfare work-based, and end the decades of fruitless debate here in Minnesota?  Oh, it’ll be work-based all right.

Education?  A hundred years of government education modeled after the Prussian system (and intended more to stomp out radical immigrant allegiances and create “good citizens” than to “educate”), the literacy rate has scarcely budged – and when you consider than an eighth-grader in World War 2 (the average level of education back then) was more literate, and a better critical thinker, than most college Freshmen today, you can see there might be a better approach to the problem.

Healthcare?  You do realize that fraternal organizations like the Elks, the Moose and the like, as well as religious organizations, not only handled group health 100 years ago, and did it almost as effectively as employer paid healthcare today (to say nothing of MNSure), but did it in such a way as to ensure the growth rather than stagnation of the medical profession, right?

Law enforcement?  Yeah – the “Wild West”, where most “justice” and “law” was privately negotiated, was one of the most peaceful places and times in American history (provided you weren’t a native tribe; every premise has its gaps).  Even Dodge City and Abilene – both were vastly more peaceful than the law-clogged, politics-dominated fever swamps of the coastal cities.

But Wait!:  But don’t start bombarding me with Ron Paul quotes – because Libertarianism, especially the brutalist, Ayn-Rand-sodden variety popular among the Austrian-school fratboys that make up the driving force of the Big-L party these days (pushing out the raw milk and help set, although they share all sorts of rhetoric) is a loser with real people in the real world.

No, not liberty – the idea that we should be free, that our society should be a free association of equals, that we should all be equal in the eyes of the law and at the ballot box, and free to prosper according to our merit and energy.  Those are winners for most people; that’s why most of our forefathers came here. 

But today’s brutalist Libertarianism considers “community” a dirty word.  Which is fine – except that humans are a communitarian species.  We gather in groups, and establish rules amongst ourselves pretty instinctively.  Don’t believe it?  Watch a group of six year old boys playing in an open field.  Libertarianism resonates with me in terms of keeping “the community” from taking over and running the individual’s life, and making sure the “community” is focused as close to the individual as possible. 

And don’t get me started on the “anarcho-libertarians”, which is what too many of the Austrain-school fratboys think they are; while “anarchy” has a nice set of platitudes that pass for an “intellectual case”, they collapse over two key points:

  1. Human nature is not a “construct”. 
  2. Evil exists.

No matter what stasis you and your similarly-anarchic neighbors find amongst yourselves, in your existences as lone gentleman farmers on your farms in the hypothetical social void, at some point someone who doesn’t have what you want is going to come along and want what you have.  And they’ll realize that while you, Gentleman Farmer, are more than a match for him in a duel, he’s not going to come alone.  This group – let’s say they’re Methodists, because we know how warlike and acquisitive Methodist theology is – comes in groups of 15-30, because they are not anarchists. 

Human nature is not a construct.  Evil exists.  Not every human wants to take other peoples’ stuff by force – but enough do, that communities find it advantageous to band together to keep those pesky Methodists (or other aberrations of human nature) at bay. 

Which involves rules.  And the tension between authority and liberty. 

And a world that doesn’t fit nicely into that anarchist worldview. 

So there’s a conundrum.

The Problem, Of Course, is getting to the point where we, the not-stupid people, can drive society in a direction where, if (hah hah hah) and when the debt finally crushes our economy, it can recover in a direction that leaves us with more, not less, freedom.

More on that – much more – next week.

At any rate – that, and only that, is why I’m involved in politics, here or on the air or in my real life.

Beyond that, what’s the point?

And yet beyond that, what else matters?

[1] As measured in moral terms, not necessarily raw audience numbers.

Unspun

The IRS Scandal was even less “balanced” than the media have been spinning it (emphasis added):

“Only seven applications in the IRS backlog contained the word ‘progressive,’ all of which were then approved by the IRS, while Tea Party groups received unprecedented review and experienced years-long delays. While some liberal-oriented groups were singled out for scrutiny, evidence shows it was due to non-political reasons,” according to the Oversight staff report, which was obtained by The Daily Caller.

“[T]he Administration and congressional Democrats have seized upon the notion that the IRS’s targeting was not just limited to conservative applicants,” the report states. “These Democratic claims are flat-out wrong and have no basis in any thorough examination of the facts. Yet, the Administration’s chief defenders continue to make these assertions in a concerted effort to deflect and distract from the truth about the IRS’s targeting of tax-exempt applicants.”

The media is doing everything it can to keep this scandal buried.

Oceania Has Never Bullied Eastasia, Winston

The bill that the Metrocrats chose to call the “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act” passed the Senate. 

Let’s look at what’s in a name.  Because the name “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act” is intensely misleading – almost to a geometric fault.

There are so many names for this bill that are more appropriate:

The Redundant Feel-Good Act:  Every school district already has a bullying policy.  It’s the law. 

The PC Payoff Act:  This bill - probably soon to be a law – is a chit being paid back to the DFL’s supporters by the party currently in power, creating not only a protected class of students, but a super-di-duper protected class. 

The Full Employment For Bureaucrats Act:  This bill – which creates a huge unfunded mandate on top of all the others foisted on our school systems, to the point where many districts are nothing but mandate delivery systems with occasional spurts of “education” – will create a whole new class of administrators.  And they’ll belong to unions, who donate their dues money to the DFL. 

The Full Employment For Trial Lawyers Act:  The bill makes the entire process of dealing with “bullying” even more legalistic than it already is.  Legalistic means “designed to be controlled, and especially litigated (at an exquisitely expensive hourly rate) by lawyers”. 

The Type-Cast Your Child For Life Act:  Everything related to everything that can be defined as “bullying”, no matter how torturously, will become part of a child’s permanent academic record.  Which will affect childrens’ future chances at higher education, jobs, the military, jobs requiring security clearances and the like, long after the child has grown out of whatever phase they were in when they were bullies (and that’s assume they were rightly and justly accused of “bullying”, since the bill is also…)

“Stasi Had The Right Idea!” Act:   Anonymous informants?  Giving those who accuse others of bullying complete immunity from consequences if it turns out that the accusations were fabricated? 

The “Further Proof That North Dakotans Are Smarter Than Minnesotans” Act:  Other states – including our grown-up neighbor, my home state of North Dakota – address bullying by addressing bullying, passing laws that address actual behavior rather than creating the infrastructure for a network of secret denunciations and…

The Ideology Police Act:  …making all beliefs that don’t toe the PC line, especially personal religious beliefs, however manifested or stated, a form of behavior that needs to be watched and suppressed, overtly or subtly, “for the good of the children”.       

The “Let’s Have More Bullying, Not Less!” Act:  Bullying tends to go up, rather than down, in places with bullying bills.   

The Metrocrat Power Grab Of 2014 Act:  The bill – which does nothing to address bullying of children that isn’t already covered by existing policies – does coalesce more power to indoctrinate, to punish dissent from the state-sanctioned social views, and to extort more from the taxpayer in the bargain.  And it does it during the last session during which the DFL is guaranteed absolute power.                 

Could someone in the legislature please see to this?

…But Not For Thee, Throughout History

 Was I the only one who noticed – California Senator Diane Feinstein was silent during the part of the NSA scandal when it was just the peasants getting spied on…

…but she swung into action like Batwoman when it was her getting snooped?

For Sen. Dianne Feinstein, regulation of unmanned aerial vehicles has gotten personal.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday night, the California Democrat said a drone spied into the window of her home during a protest outside her house, and that privacy concerns for the technology were “major.”

…now.

Can anyone help but remember Feinstein’s time in San Francisco, where she moved to revoke all civilian handgun carry permits…

…after having herself issued a police permit?

When it was her life being threatened?

I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me.”

 In the world of the left, only the right people actually need civil rights.

The Star Chamber

Over this past nine months, conservative groups have railed against the Lightworker’s Administration’s abuse of the IRS to suppress conservative political activity.

Of course, if you live in Minnesota, you’re used to this.  The “Campaign Finance Board” has been a cudgel used against (mostly conservative) grassroots groups since its inception.

But the Dayton Administration is doing its best to make things worse:

As we’ve learned, the IRS under the Obama Administration has been weaponized against conservative non-profits in an effort to stifle opposition speech, but that’s not the only avenue of attack. A partisan bill was introduced in the Minnesota Legislature, but ultimately defeated last year that would impose onerous new regulations on grassroots organizations like Minnesota Majority, Tea Party groups and numerous other non-profits

It’s back this year and it contains all manner of vague, subjective language (like “clearly;” “reasonable;” and “biased,” that will allow a small 6-member board, appointed by the governor to determine who has violated the proposed new campaign finance laws and who has not. “Bias” is often in the eye of the beholder. In this case, it’s up to the governor to determine who the “beholders” are.

The bills involved appear to revive some of the worst, dumbest, most turn-free-speech-into-crime-ifying aspects of the late, unlamented McCain-Feingold law:

HF1944/SF1915 proposes to create “free speech zones” on the calendar, allowing the state to determine when grassroots groups can engage in unfettered speech and when such speech would be regulated.

In other words, putting bureaucrats in charge of when and, inevitably, how you may “speak freely”.

Squeezed

I got this via email from a friend in Minneapolis:

Cam Winton posted about this on Facebook. The current city overseers do not want single family dwellings. They have said as much. We are not in their vision for the future. Our little happy lives living in single family homes is destroying their view of the world.

I rode the bus this morning with a neighbor today who shared his story of increased taxes, I shared mine, he told me of neighbors with huge jumps. At work I talked to another county employee who is ready to sell her house which is located about 4 blocks from mine. Reason…unbelievable hikes in taxes.

This is nuts. We are about to get rolled big time.

We certainly are.

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are indulging in several parallel liberal conceits:

  1. “Progressives” do, in fact, believe that there’s always a few more bucks they can wring out of any population.  The correspondent wrote that, suddenly, home valuations are skyrocketing in parts of South Minneapolis.  The idea is “pay up, or move away and let us get at all that choice property!”
  2. The idea that they know better than the free market how people want to live.  The essence of the free market is that if people don’t like, or want, a product, service or idea, they just say “no”.   As long as we have a free market for homes, people will choose what they want, and say “no” to what they don’t.  As Minneapolis is not New York or San Francisco (whatever its pretensions) – it’s built in an place with lots of land – most people eventually will look for some kind of breathing room.

Joel Kotkin predicts that at some point, “cities” as we know them today will become playgrounds for the very wealthy, and warehouses for the very poor, surrounded by…not so much “suburbs”, but exurbs and smaller communities where actual people will hold actual jobs.  I think Minneapolis is well on the way.

I’m Jumpin’ NARN Flash, It’s A Gas, Gas, Gas…

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism, as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • I’m in the studio today from 1-3.  I’ll have Senator Roger Chamberlain on, regarding the dueling Bullying Bills.  Then, we’ll talk with Kim Crockett about the ”Minnesota Exodus”, all of companies leaving Minnesota over taxes. (oops – that’s next week…)
  • Don’t forget the King Banaian Radio Show, on AM1570 “The Businessman” from 9-11AM this morning!
  • Tomorrow,  Brad Carlson is on “The Closer”!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

Join us!

The “Stasi Bill” Vs. “The Bullying Bill”, Part 2

Senator Roger Chamberlain has been leading the push to try to replace Senator Dibble’s “bullying bill”, HF 826, with a bill that addresses bullying rather than serves as a bludgeon of indoctrination.

He wrote a piece on Facebook (among, I’m sure, other places) earlier this week that I think sums things up well.  I’m going to excerpt it below, with a few bits of emphasis added by me:

———-

I need to be blunt. HF 826 will turn our schools into indoctrination camps; it will create a climate of fear. Our children will be stripped of their innocence and humanity; HF 826 looks at children as nothing more than programmable machinery. Parents will lose more control, school districts lose control, and communities will lose control.
Another sad and disturbing fact is some elected officials and lobbyists do not care about the larger issue, the overall harm the bill will cause to children and parents. They will work to cut deals with the bill’s author and when they achieve their specific objective, and then they will walk away. One lobbyist said they will simply live with the results of the session.

What happened to the idea of doing what is right? Unfortunately it’s a fairly rare concept in government.

There is an alternative, senate file 2411 (SF 2411) it is based on North Dakota law, which, in 2011, was endorsed by our Attorney General Lori Swanson. It is short, 4 pages not 20 pages, clarifies the issue but most importantly it protects all kids equally, retains parental rights and local control.

HF 826 is not just another law people will learn to live with, it’s not MNSure, and these are children, your children and not some abstraction. People have no idea the damage this will cause; they have no idea what they are asking for.

———-

If you take action on no other issue this session (and I know this blog’s audience is prone to taking action on political issues), do it for this one.

 

The War On Home

It’s one of those lines conservatives have been using for a decade, maybe two; the “progressive” left wants to move people out of single-family homes with yards and driveways, and into high-density housing.

Only it’s not a “line”.  It’s here, and it’s in Minneapolis right now.

Without warning, on Friday March 7th, 2014 the Minneapolis City Council passed a Moratorium(a full stop) on all new construction and certain remodeling projects EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY in the Southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods of Linden Hills, Fulton, Armatage, Lynnhurst, and Kenny. This Moratorium prohibits anyone without a completed permit from starting construction on a project for up to one year from the effective date.

They passed it unanimously.

The moratorium hurts everyone (except progressive planners), especially taxpayers in Minneapolis:

The reduced potential property tax base and permit revenue lost from the moratorium will cause property taxes on residents to go up yet again. So the question you should ask is, “Why should I pay the same tax rates now with a moratorium that I paid when I could fully use my property?”

Dear (mostly) relentlessly PC liberals of South Minneapolis:

This was the sort of thing that, 240 years ago, impelled a bunch of other impeccable liberals to throw a…

…dare I say it? A Tea Party.

Fair Play

Remember when the Lower Hudson Journal News published the names and addresses of every carry permit holder in its coverage area (the northern NYC/southwest Connecticut subrban area)?  When pro-Second-Amendment bloggers struck back by publishing the names and addresses of the “newspaper’s” “journalists?”

The good guys are at it again.

Last year, a small majority of Connecticut legislators passed legislation that is, as we speak, leading to the confiscation of firearms in Connecticut.

And the bloggers are at it again.

(This blog doesn’t endorse intimidation.  The state needs to stop it).

 

“Hint, Hint, Hint…”

Bradley Smith notes…:

In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.

What does this have to do with the Obama Administration’s use of the IRS to repress conservative advocacy groups? 

Everything:

The mainstream press has justified its lack of coverage over the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups because there’s been no “smoking gun” tying President Obama to the scandal. This betrays a remarkable, if not willful, failure to understand abuse of power. The political pressure on the IRS to delay or deny tax-exempt status for conservative groups has been obvious to anyone who cares to open his eyes. It did not come from a direct order from the White House, but it didn’t have to.

Read the whole thing for the entire, four-year account of President Obama’s not-remotely-vague plea to be rid of that turbulent Tea Party, and the seven knights – Al Franken included – who rode forth to try to slay a nation of Becketts.

Our Loathsome Elites

Julie Boonstra, in the middle of being treated for Leukemia, had to go chasing after alternative health insurance.

Because of Obamacare.

The WaPo’s “fact check” column, “Politifact”, leaped into action and did what it’s paid to do; uphold the Democrat narrative:

Media organizations investigating the ad’s claims note that Boonstra was able to find comparable new insurance under the law.

Which I’m sure was big comfort, what with being in the middle of being treated for Leukemia and all.

But that whole “finding alternate care” bit?  Ummm…


Obama Repeatedly Promising You Can Keep Your… by ShockDoctrin

Even if I didn’t love my doctor, I’d suspect that right in the middle of freaking Leukemia treatment would be a time when having the Presidentnot lie to memight be a good thing.

But today’s Democrat party?  They know what matters.

The messengers; they must be lined up and shot:

And the campaign of Rep. Gary Peters is also going after television stations airing ads in which her story is featured, threatening their licenses.

The reason our country is so polarized is that half of the population supports rank evil.

“Oh, Lord, When Will Someone Have The Guts To Take On Big Vapor?”

 Minnesota.  The state where everything that isn’t mandatory, is banned. 

Or at least someone will be busy trying to ban it. 

Phyillis (who else?) Kahn is tackling Big Flavored Water, and the scourge of second-hand water vapor:

The bill would mean you could not use an e-cigarette in indoor buildings or public spaces that ban smoking, just like traditional cigarettes.

E-cigarettes have exploded in popularity. So far, there have been no conclusive medical studies on their health impact and that has e-cigarette fans saying let’s wait before we put on any restrictions.

There is no evidence that they harm even the consumer (at a level beyond that caused by coffee or energy beverages, to say nothing of alcohol), much less anyone else. 

And people enjoy them – which, in Minnesota, is a big red flag:

Since she opened her e-cigarette shop in Uptown, Sina War, an ex-smoker herself, has seen a surge in business.

“Electronic cigarettes allows me to have the same habits and allow me to cut the nicotine level down,” War said.

War says Rep. Phyllis Kahn’s bill will hurt those trying to quit traditional smoking. 

“Having her include this in the clean air act makes electronic cigarette smokers who use this to quit smoking, go back to where they were 10 months back,” War said.

But it’s for your own good!  Because the DFL cares!

Kahn says she is concerned about the explosion in popularity of e-cigarettes.

“They are everywhere. Now, just think were they are going to be a year from now,” Kahn said. “Just remember, we are not banning it. We are just regulating it the same way cigarettes are.”

“Just think were they are going to be a year from now”

Enjoying flavored water vapor and, maybe, quitting smoking? 

I suspect tobacco tax revenue is playing its role.

(Title courtesy Gary Miller)

Our Idiot Elite

One of the things you learn by studying “progressivism” (as starkly opposed to classical liberalism) is the contempt its practitioners have for their subjects.

Er, citizens.  Sorry.  That was a slip.

Micheal Barone reviews a book – ““The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class.” by Fred Siegel – and  runs down some history of this contempt, a history lesson you just didn’t get in high school:

Progressivism was repudiated in the landslide election of Warren Harding in 1920, at which point disenchanted [post-Wilsonian] liberal thinkers turned their ire against middle-class Americans who, in the “Roaring ’20s,” were happily buying automobiles, refrigerators, radios, and tickets to the movies.

The novels of Sinclair Lewis, the journalism of H. L. Mencken, and the literary criticism of Van Wyck Brooks heaped scorn on the vast and supposedly mindless Americans who worked hard at their jobs and joined civic groups — Mencken’s “booboisie.”

I’ve always been annoyed by the retroactive regard Mencken gets – but given his resonance with our intellectual “ruling class”, it makes disturbing sense. 

These 1920s liberals idealized the “noble aspiration” and “fine aristocratic pride” in an imaginary Europe, and considered Americans, in the words of a Lewis character, “a savorless people, gulping tasteless food,” and “listening to mechanical music, saying mechanical things about the excellence of Ford automobiles, and viewing themselves as the greatest race in the world.”

This contempt for ordinary Americans mostly persisted in changing political environments. During the Great Depression, many liberals became Communists, proclaiming themselves tribunes of a virtuous oppressed proletariat that would have an enlightened rule…The supposedly mindless 1950s, Siegel recalls, were actually a time of elevated culture, with thousands of Great Books discussion groups across the nation and high TV ratings for programs such as Shakespeare’s Richard III, starring Laurence Olivier.

And let’s not forget the left’s tenuous relationship-of-convenience with rationality:

Liberals since the 1920s have claimed to be guided by the laws of science, but often it was crackpot science, like the eugenics movement that sought forced sterilizations.

Other social-science theories proved unreliable in practice. Keynesian economics crashed and burned in the stagflation of the 1970s.

The academy and the media it spawned has spent nearly 100 years trying to give Real America an inferiority complex. 

Read the whole thing.

Imperial

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We have a law student intern in my office. She’s taking Constitutional Law – Liberties, taught by a leftist female law professor who expects students to analyze abortion cases by finding the flaw in the conservative reasoning since, obviously, abortion is a constitutionally protected right and any attempt to infringe it is horrific. The whole notion of “original intent” is just a code word for slavery over women’s bodies.

So . . . we believe it’s self-evident that God gave you the right to life, but not until you’re born? God has a waiting period that only Harry Blackman could divine? Until the waiting period ends, society can unilaterally decide you have no rights and can be killed at whim, same as a pre-war Black, a Nazi Jew, a Soviet Kulak?

I suppose that reasoning is consistent with the President’s assertion that he has the power to order the execution of American citizens without trial on mere suspicion of terrorism. But it’s not exactly comforting. I sure hope Liberals in the government don’t decide to unilaterally revoke the rights of Christians or Conservatives. It would suck to be a refugee from my own country.

Joe Doakes

I think whole parts of this country are going to be refugees from “our own country” before this is done.

Expanding The American Gulag

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is asking for DUI checkpoints in Minnesota:

Mothers Against Drunk Driving gave Minnesota low marks in its new state-by-state evaluation of DWI laws.

To be fair and accurate, MADD will dock points from any state that doesn’t allow law enforcement to perform random no-knock breathalyzer and urinalysis raids in the middle of the night.

No, almost:

MADD, in particular, calls upon state lawmakers to legalize sobriety checkpoints, writing that they “will give law enforcement the tools needed to cut drunk driving fatalities.” (The organization also recommends requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted DWI offenders.)

Minnesota is currently one of just 12 states that doesn’t allow law enforcement to conduct sobriety checkpoints.

Clearly there’s a drunk driving crisis in Minnesota.

Well, no.  There’s not.  Minnesota is well below the national average in the percentage of automobile deaths related to alcohol and alcohol impairment.

And despite MADD’s blandishments, there’s considerable evidence that random checkpoints aren’t especially effective at getting drunk drivers off the road, much less saving lives, as compared to the perfectly effective roving patrols.

Alcohol-related deaths on the road are down nearly 50% in the past 25 years.

But if MADD thinks shoving the police state’s foot in the door up to the knee by gutting the Fourth Amendment even more is the answer, maybe it’s time for America’s voters to send them off to political happy hour.

Object Lessons

Just a couple of things from the news.

Crises, Crises Everywhere:  Some libs claim that conservatives are “paranoid” for planning ahead against massive public dislocation in the event of major crises.

I say “it’s only paranoia if it’s not fully justified by the minor crises“.      

On Your Neck Forever: Some libs claim that conservatives are “paranoid” for not trusting government – especially government’s intentions toward dissidents.

I say “it’s only paranoia if it’s not absolutely accurate and true“.

Imperious:  Some libs say conservatives are “paranoid” for concerning themselves with Barack Obama’s expansion of presidential powers.

I say “it’s only paranoid if it’s not playing out righit in front of us as we speak“.     Or if our country weren’t developing a two-tiered law-enforcement system – one for the political haves, one for the political have nots – before our very eyes.   

On  Your Neck, Forever – Part II:  Some libs claim that conservatives are “parnaoid” – or  even “traitors” – for believing that government and its agents need to be strictly limited, lest it run amok. 

I say “it’s only paranoia if it’s not virtually a physical law.  And if this is treason, then it’s the same “treason” our Founding Fathers engaged in.

No, you heard me right – virtually a physical law.

Yes, it is.

Perfect Safety

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The federal government has rules on who gets a pilot’s license. Most pilots think the rules set the standards too high, especially for little planes used in recreational flight.

Minimum 40 hours behind-the-wheel lessons, a medical exam, written exam, oral exam, and a flying test to demonstrate not just ordinary flying, but also emergency maneuvers and navigation over unfamiliar territory, all for a private pilot’s license to fly a little Cessna. The requirements for lessons and testing get harder the bigger your airplane, or what purpose you’re flying for.

If we applied the same standards to other recreational vehicles such as boats, motorcycles and 4-wheelers, nobody would ever use one.

The feds claim they only want to ensure safety. Setting the standard so high nobody can meet it means nobody takes off, so nobody crashes, so perfect safety is achieved.

I guess that’s how they’ll pay for Obama-care . . . nobody will ever get hurt again so it won’t cost anything to heal them.

And all we’ve lost is . . . our freedom.

Joe Doakes

Obama is betting long on the idea that the only “freedom” anyone really cares about anymore is “from want”.

Soon We’ll All Be Rogues

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed:

Congress foolishly passed laws that allow payday lenders to help poor people make it from one paycheck to the next.  President Obama – who vowed before God to faithfully execute the laws enacted by Congress – doesn’t like that one (never has; when he was in the Illinois legislature, Obama backed legislation to ban payday loans).

Suddenly, federal bureaucrats have set about to undermine the law allowing payday loans and now to stonewall Congressional questions about it.

President Obama will learn of the operation by reading the newspapers and begin blaming “rogue” agents in 5 . . . 4. . . .3 . . . .

Joe Doakes

The definition of totalitarian; everything that isn’t mandatory is “rogue”.

“Don’t Ever Do Business Against The Family Government”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Operation Choke Point?  Never heard of it.  But it sounds believable, for this bunch.

You think that because we’re in America, you can do business with any other legal business you like?  No, the government will TELL you who you can do business with, and on what terms, or you’ll never do business again.

Sound like something you’d hear from a Chicago gangster?  Hmmm, I wonder why?

Joe Doakes

It’s the Washington way.