Find out SAVE’s and their take on the Violence Against Wonen Act
Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism – as we finish eight years as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!
- Ed is off on assignment. I’ll be talking about the state endorsement process, the Violence Against Women Act, and talking with Senator Dave Hann about Health Insurance Exchanges. That, and Barack Obama’s very bad week. Call me at 651 289 4488.
- Brad Carlson’s show – “The Closer” – is on from 1-3 on Sunday.
- The King Banaian Show! - King is on AM1570, Business Radio for the Twin Cities! Join him from 9-11 every Saturday!
(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:
- AM1280 in the Metro
- streaming at AM1280’s Website,
- On Twitter (the Volume 2 show will use hashtag #narn2)
- UStream video and chat (at HotAir.com or at UStream) .
- New – send us an SMS text message - 651-243-0390
- Good ol’ telephone – 651-289-4488!
- Podcasts are now available on the AM1280 page! (Ed and I are #2 – Brad is #3).
- And make sure you fan us on our new Facebook page!
I’ve held for quite some time now that I think Obama is likely to get re-elected.
Incumbency is a powerful bit of inertia – and America’s media has abandoned all that “speaking truth to power” and “afflicting the powerful and empowering the afflicted” twaddle in favor of becoming a sort of info-Praetorian Guard. Obama, by another measure, holds all the cards.
he’s been busted his own big fat smug mouth has busted him colluding with a foreign dictator on defense plans, his own idiot Vice President is practically sending out invites for a resurgent Tea Party, the young and ignorant are wising up even as the rich and deluded are wiping the scales from their eyes. and the Constitution may finally be riding to the nation’s rescue, shooting his hallmark legislative “achievement” out of the saddle in the process, causing even the media to notice that all is not well.
The GOP – and the Tea Party – have a lot of work to do. But this week, for the first time in four years, it almost seems doable.
As some of you know, I’ve been one of the “establishment” (har di har) Republicans who’s been trying to welcome Ron Paul supporters into the MNGOP. I tried to make this – along with an opportunity for Paul supporters and the GOP to get together and do something useful – clear in a piece I posted yesterday.
Now, when I mentioned this yesterday, one prominent Paulbot responded “LOLOLOL”. There’s a backstory there; he’d pondered out loud why True North‘s stable of center-right writers didn’t include any Paul supporters. I asked him to put up or shut up – to send me some Paul-aligned bloggers who’d been blogging any length of time and who didn’t completely suck as writers, and we’d put ‘em on. The problem wasn’t a lack of outreach on True North’s part; it was that outside of the excellent Katie Kieffer, I’m not aware of a single pro-Paul blogger in Minnesota who’s kept a blog going for more than 2-3 posts.
He never sent me anyone.
Anyway, the fact is I do support the Paul crowd’s activity in the GOP – provided that they’re not there simply to blow it up.
Unfortunately, a small flock of little birds tell me their big plan this month is to bum-rush Kurt Zellers’ district and deliver a “no endorsement” vote.
This – trying to undercut the party if you can’t take control of it – is just about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Vandalizing the one party in the state that has any actual impact on policy that does, however imperfectly, stand for any form of liberty at all, however imperfectly, to “teach it a lesson” about…
…about what? Not paying sufficient obeisance to a candidate that, whatever his chances of getting the nomination for President, which, important as it is, has nothing to do with the business of the State, Congressional District or Legislative District/BPOU operation of the party? On behalf of people who will, largely, have little to do with nominating Senate, Congress, Legislative, Mayor, County Commission, City Council and School Board candidates, but less still to do with supporting them once the time for debating resolutions about “Auditing the Fed” is over and the time for raising money, making calls and droppoing lit and trying to get people elected begins?
And for what? To undercut the GOP Speaker of the House?
Paul supporters – curb your colleagues’ urge to commit political vandalism. Given that there is only one party in the state whose establishment pays even imperfect service to “liberty”, what are you trying to accomplish? ”Teach the GOP a lesson?
Parties don’t learn lessons. They reflect the will of those who show up.
And by “show up”, I mean to meetings in January, and for House District special elections in March.
I”ve heard from more than a few Paul supporters who’ve complained that the “establishment” of the GOP – meaning the people who were elected two years ago, whatever their beliefs – aren’t welcoming them with open arms.
How much more explaining to we need to do, here?
So much of the technology we take for granted today started out as military research, then weaponry, and finally…
Taco-hungry Americans could order and pay for tacos on their smartphones, which would supply GPS coordinates to the drone. Once ordered, the tacos would be delivered as long as the customer remained in the ordering location.
I think that’s more likely after the food is delivered, if you catch my drift.
But I digress:
It exists in the Bay Area — in concept, at least. For now, the Tacocopter, which has existed since July 2011, has been grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration, as would be any unmanned commercial drone. According to FAA regulations, “unmanned aerial vehicles” cannot currently be used for commercial purposes.
There are other minor problems with the project, such as its ability to navigate dangerous terrain or to keep the food it carries warm.
That hasn’t stopped the Tacocopter’s creators from dreaming big, though. They hope the Tacocopter website will serve as fodder for discussion of the future of food delivery — think of the implications for tailgating or outdoor barbecuing, for example.
Yet another example of senseless regulation stalling progress!
Joe Doakes writes:
Which has a longer history and is more pervasive throughout Minnesota: fishing or listening to classical music?
Why aren’t hunting and fishing a part of Minnesota’s cultural heritage?
DNR needs millions more money to keep hunting and fishing programs available. It can’t have any of the Legacy funds that we were told would go to the environment. Meanwhile, Minnesota Public Radio gets $1.3 million per year from those funds.
The fishing license for Joe Sixpack to take his kids fishing will cost more, so Volvo drivers can continue to listen to Vivaldi without commercials.
Divert the Legacy money from MPR to DNR.
I say “divert” it all back to the taxpayher, and let hunters, fishers and classical music buffs pay for their own recreation.
Caribe Bistro is the latest casualty of light rail construction and the disruption it’s foisted on University Avenue.
They’re hoping to re-open – in a neighborhood not marked for being “blessed” with light rail.
Best of luck to the Panellis, two of the nicest restauranteurs you’ll ever meet. Check out the page; if you’re looking to invest in a new restaurant, they’d love to talk…
Hypothetically, here: Let’s say that a Neo-Nazi – let’s call him “Tim Stevenson” – gives a rabble-rousing speech at a tiny meeting of neo-nazis. He rouses the skinheads and flat-earthers present to a fever pitch of hatred against “N****rs, Kikes, Wops, Spics, F****ts, C**holics and Immigrants”, calling for their expulsion from the US – peacefully, if possible, not-so-peacefully if not.
Stevenson – at 60 years old a small man, 5’7 and maybe 150 pounds, with a law degree from the U of M and closely-cropped hair – is a truly hateful man. He also has a spotless criminal record, and has a Minnesota permit to carry a handgun; “believing rotten things” is not a condition for denial. As hateful as his beliefs are, he’s never been in a physical fight in his life. He’s got a little .380 in his pocket.
After his speech, and after coffee and coffee cake with the assembled louts, Stevenson leaves the meeting, walking out onto a cold, dark, wind-swept Brooklyn Center street to get to the parking lot, a block away. He’s being followed, he notices, as he tries to walk toward the parking lot, by a large woman in a “trench coat mafia” duster. His spidey sense, augmenting his far-left Nazi paranoia, kicks in; he walks a little faster. The woman walks faster still. Stevenson breezes through the stoplight to get across the street to the parking lot; the woman breaks into a jog, yelling “Hey!”
Stevenson turns, and notices the woman appears very aggressive. He starts backpedaling, toward his car, yelling “what?”
“I’m coming for YOU, Stevenson!” the woman – Hannah Rothenshteyn-Gabler, 29, a 5’11 former rugby player and current competitive bodybuilder, bellows.
(By an odd coincidence, a video production class was just letting out in a building across the street. Seven people with video cameras happen to videotape the entire incident, from a variety of angles, with crystal-clear audio, albeit with a style overly derivative of early John Sayles).
At this point, it was Stevenson’s opinion and perception that something bad would happen if he waited to meet the woman.
Stevenson backpedals, yelling “DO NOT ATTACK ME! HELP! DO NOT ATTACK ME!” – because while Stevenson may be a neo-Nazi, he did pay attention in concealed carry training; he remembers the part where his instructor said “when you’re carrying, you have to turn into the biggest p**sy in the world”. ”HELP! DO NOT ATTACK ME!”
As he backpedals through the parking lot, he can’t see the banana peel, left earlier in the evening by a littering driver, lying in his path. As he backpedals, he slips and falls squarely on his butt, sprawled on the ground, dazed for a shaved instant.
Rothenshteyn-Gabler runs up to where Stevenson lies on the ground, and pulls a 16 pound sledgehammer from under her duster, and hefts it above her head. ”I am going to pound your brains into silly-putty”, she says. ”And then I’m going to soak what’s left of you in gasoline and light you on fire!”, she bellows, preparing to smash the hammer down on Stevenson’s face.
Feeling himself – in his opinion, informed by his perception of what was going on - to be in imminent danger of death and great bodily harm, having established that he was an unwilling participant and making a very credible and reasonable effort to try to run away, Stevenson pulls his .380 and fires one shot. It hits Rothenshteyn-Gabler in the head, killing her.
Stevenson calls the police, who detain him, but review the evidence – including the seven videotaped accounts – and note that Stevenson behaved correctly in every possible way.
But the Hennepin County Attorney brings charges – Second Degree Murder. Stevenson’s lawyer mounts an affirmative defense, a “self defense” claim, noting that yes, Stevenson did shoot Rothenshteyn-Gabler, but…:
- Stevenson was as reluctant a participant as it was possible to be.
- He’d made an extraordinary effort to retreat.
- He had a freaking sledgehammer above his head, and an attacker who was clearly ready and able to use it, putting him in very reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm.
- He fired exactly one shot, enough to end the threat – so his force was “reasonable”.
The prosecutor got up to respond. ”But ladies and gentlemen of the jury – while the defendant meets all four criteria of the self-defense claim, HE IS A NEO-NAZI! I mean, come on! He’s a NEO NAZI! He HATES Jews and women and blacks! HE’s A NEO NAZI! A NEO NAZI!”
Two questions for you, the audience:
- How does the jury rule – bearing in mind that Stevenson’s beliefs, reprehensible as they are, had nothing whatever to do with the fatal encounter itself - personal beliefs don’t justify deadly attacks, right?
- How would the story be any different had the “Stand Your Ground” bill passed?
For the first: If the Jury doesn’t nullify the law and ignore that, noxious personal beliefs aside, Stevenson acted correctly? They’ll most likely acquit him; hateful as he is, he obeyed the law. There are no guarantees with a jury, but given impeccable behavior, he could prove the correctness of his actions. He’d make his lawyer a little wealthier, of course.
For the second? The lawyer would have to come up with a better argument, one that hinged less on “HE’S A NAZI”, and more on proving his fear wasn’t reasonable.
Tha’ts really about it.
I bring this up because some local leftybloggers want to ignore the facts and pretend that the first part is what matters, when it suits them.
Gary from Highland Park directed me to a quote in this piece about a bill that would make concert and sporting event tickets the personal property of the purchaser:
“I don’t see your bill as a free-market bill,” said Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley. “[It's] the Legislature weighing in and picking winners and losers among competing industries, and that’s something we’re pretty bad at, but never can stop doing, it seems.”
Gary adds “”Isn’t the first step admitting you have a problem? Think he can stop his destructive habit?”
I’m just wondering why Winker’s wasting his time on this, and not out there personally creating more jerbs?
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
I am willing to bet a crisp new $1.00 bill that Obamacare will be upheld in its entirety by the US Supreme Court.
The four liberal justices will say it’s fine – indeed, doesn’t go far enough.
The four conservative justices will say it’s abhorrent to the concept of enumerated powers and must be stuck down.
Anthony Kennedy will decide that ordinarily, the federal government can’t reach so broadly under its power to regulate interstate commerce. But he’ll find that the right to decide when and where to have a family is a Constitutional right and some people can’t afford birth control pills or abortions, so the entire nation can be forced to buy health care insurance in order to fund poor people’s birth control choices. In this one unique situation, the constitutional right to abortion is so important that any means the government uses to fund it, is justified.
5-4 to uphold.
Place your bets now.
No action on that bet.
It’s waaaaaay too plausible.
To: Ron Paul Supporters, especially in the 4th Congresisonal District
From: Mitch Berg
Re: Your Shot At Making A Real Difference
Some of you know me. I’m Mitch Berg. And long before I had a blog, and even longer before I hosted a talk show, and longer-still before I got heavily involved in “establishment” party politics, I was a Libertarian, with a big “L”:. I even ran for office as a big-”L” Libertarian - and won a moral, if not literal, victory.
I support liberty. I also support being in a position to actually affect policy, rather than being an eternal protest-voter. All of your chanting and zeal witthin the GOP are of no value – zero, nada, zilch – if you don’t have the ability to actually affect policy in the world outside the party. And while having your guy win the presidency would do that, you also need to push candidates with your worldview into the US House and Senate, Governors and state constitutional offices, state Legislators and Senators, the county commission, city hall, the school board – the stuff you actually have to win if you want the government to, y’know, audit the Fed and stuff.
Which is why I endorsed Paul – Rand Paul, that is – last winter. Libertarian purism, like any kind of purism, is a fun self-indulgence – and like any self-indulgence, it will have no affect on society around you.
So I have no beef with libertarianism. I don’t even have so much a beef with Ron Paul, either. I approve of many of the issues he runs on. The stuff he wrote 30 years ago is a big problem – don’t kid yourself. But I want to support him, or at least what he stands for.
The problem, I’m sorry to say, is many of you, his supporters. Part of it is that so many of you do in fact propose using the power of the executive branch in a way not a lot different than liberals propose using the judicial branch – as a cudgel.
But the bigger part is that, for too many of you, Ron Paul is a personality cult. I’ve run into too many Paul supporters who support Paul, but can barely articulate what he stands for; indeed, I do a better job of speaking for what Paul believes than they do.
Worse? Just like four years ago, you flooded GOP precinct caucuses, and are in the process of flooding the BPOU Conventions, and trying to push your delegates on to the CD, State and (you hope) National conventions. And that’s fine; that’s how the process works.
What’s “worse” is that, like four years ago, so very very very very very many of you will never be seen again after your next round of conventions. You’ll show up, do your bit for Ron Paul – but not the GOP – and disappear, likely not to be seen again. There are some exceptions – but they are rare. Your commitment is to Ron Paul, not to the GOP, even in the context of “Changing the party into a more-libertarian institution in the long term” – with which I’d be completely on board.
And so those of us who have committed to the party – some of you call us “the establishment”, which makes me laugh, since I’ve been a libertarian insurgent in the party for 12 years now, and being “the establishment” means “campaign after campaign of door-knocking, phone-calling and lit-dropping – do feel a bit of resentment, like when you cook a big dinner and some stranger eats the whole thing and doesn’t even say thanks.
Anyway, I’m not here to bag on all you Ronulans. I’m here, actually, to propose a win-win solution; you get to push liberty, the GOP gets to make inroads in the arena of actually changing policy in a meaningful way.
We have a big opportunity in the Fourth Congressional District. I’ll take a moment to remind you what the Fourth CD is, since a disturbing number of you Paul supporters have little concept of politics down-ticket from the Presidency. It’s Betty McCollum’s Congressional District:
It’s been controlled by big-government stooges from the DFL for over sixty years now.
But the latest round of redistricting made it a lot more competitive. It used to be pretty much Saint Paul – a 70-30 statist-DFL district. But redistricting added in a bunch of the more-conservative, more liberty-friendly East Metro, including thousands of people who moved to Lake Elmo, Woodbury, Stillwater and Afton to get away from the DFL and the rot they bring.
Now, Tony Hernandez is currently the candidate running for the GOP nomination in the 4th CD. I’ve interviewed him a couple of times – and the language he uses is the kind of thing that should make you Paul supporters (and me) happy to support him. Big on liberty, shrinking government – most of the Ron Paul elevator pitch is in there. Before redistricting, he might have been looking at a 65-35 campaign, if he was lucky.
Now? The odds are not nearly so quixotic. With a little luck and a ton of work, it’s doable.
So here’s the deal, Paul supporters; if all of you turn out between now and the election with as much enthusiasm and whiz and vinegar in support of Tony Hernandez – who likely will get nominated, as opposed to Paul – and work your asses off alongside all us “establishment” Republicans? We might just pull off a miracle.
No, bigger than that.
And not just a miracle in terms of sending Betty McCollum back to work as a receptionist at Alliance for a Better Minnesota; not just a miracle in upending sixty years of statist big-government representation in the 4th CD.
It’ll be a miracle in terms that matter much more, both to you Paul supporters and to the GOP; you’ll have done some real, palpable good in bringing your beliefs to bear in a way that can actually affect policy.
If you’re interested in helping out? I’ll see you at the conventions. We’ll have a great time. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’ll have fun doing it.
If you’re not? If you’re one of those dolts who believes that by staying home on election day because your candidate didn’t get nominated you actually “send a message” anyone will care about? It’s not true, by the way – politics, especially at the grassroots level, reflects the will of those who show up. Not just once, mind you, but every month, every election. Anyway – yeah, I’ll be working against you. Totally.
That is all.
The state Campaign Finance Board is short on cash and looking for more money as campaign season heats up:
Gary Goldsmith, the board’s executive director, says stagnant funding makes it difficult for his staff to do its job effectively.
A new report by the State Integrity Investigation, a study that looked at each state’s risk for corruption, underscores Goldsmith’s concern: Minnesota scored lower than other states on some questions having to do with the board’s ability to pursue all investigations.
Well, the obvious solution would be to have the CFB get a huge contribution under the table from someone like Alita Messinger.
Funding difficulties could make the board’s job particularly tough this election year, when outside groups looking to influence campaigns and the vote on proposed amendments to the Minnesota Constitution are expected to dominate political spending.
Here’s a humble suggestion: institute “Loser Pays” for all CFB complaints.
That’ll discourage DFL minions from bringing frivolous, bogus, partisan claims that even mere bloggers can tear to shreds, but require all sorts of expensive due process anyway.
St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman announced in his State of the City address he’s got the city’s mighty plannin’ wheels a’churnin’ to get a stadium built downtown for the Saint Paul Saints:
Arguably, the biggest announcement came midway through the mayor’s annual State of the City address at the James J. Hill Library: He said the St. Paul Port Authority had secured a land deal with the real estate investment trust that owns the old Diamond Products building off Broadway Street.
The vacant building, which is across from the St. Paul Farmer’s Market, could become the site of a future regional ballpark for the Saints and amateur baseball leagues.
The Port Authority plans to swap the Lowertown property with the city, and in turn take over the Saints’ outdated Midway Stadium site off Energy Park Drive for future business development. Midway Stadium is city-owned.
“We’ll own the land,” Coleman said. “Now let’s build the ballpark.”
Sure, Mr. Mayor.
Feel free to get your buddies to pony up for it. I just got my property tax bill. I’m done paying for your plans.
A “handshake deal” has been reached with the Florida owners of the Diamond Products building to buy it for $2.4 million, said Tom Collins, a Port Authority spokesman. Details will be made final when the two sides get together next week.
Every time Chris Coleman shakes someone’s hands, he wipes ‘em off afterward with a fiver.
Joe Doakes emails:
1. To a Leftist, Rights do not come from God, there is only Power which flows from the government. That’s why a good result doesn’t mean people are “blessed,” but are “empowered.”
2. Here’s the clever bit: the implicit Liberal mindset underlying every Chanting Point
“Government is great, government is good, and Obama is its prophet.”
Geez, maybe I should trademark that and get T-Shirts printed
I can hear the “cha-ching” all the way down on Minnehaha.
As we grind on through the ongoing morass of the Martin case in Florida, it occurs to me that there’s an article I should have written a month ago, when the “Stand Your Ground” bill was wending its way toward Governor “I’ve Got Two .357 Magnums” Dayton’s dim-witted veto.
It turns out a lot of liberals – in Minnesota and nationwide – are really unclear on basic logic, to say nothing of how the law works.
So as mu public service to the left, to try to educate them to a point where they might be able to participate literately in discussing the issue, I’m here out of pure unvarnished compassion to help them out.
Well, Freaking Duh! – I’ve brought this one up before – but as long as liberals say it, I’m going to have to repeat it. Lefties like to refer to “Stand Your Ground” bills as “Shoot First” bills. And I have to ask – have any of you hamsters ever thought about what happens in a legitimate self-defense situation when you shoot second?
No, I guess not. I’ll give you a subtle hint; you get kidnapped, raped, strangled, stabbed and shot.
“Shooting Second” is a really lousy idea.
(I know, I know – they’re trying to “frame” the term. And I’m just doing my best to have the frame blow up in their faces).
More Of That There Fancy Law Talk – When trying to explain what’s wrong with “Stand Your Ground” laws, liberals will get hushed, snd solemnly intone that “they mean people can shoot in self-defense if they feel they’re being threatened”. They usually follow up with one of those Jon Stewart smirks.
And I’m forced to slow waaaaay down – not so much “theatrically” as out of hope that exaggeraged emphasis will help me cut through the sludgy wall of intellectually-entitled smugness – and ask “what do you think people claim when it comes to “self-defense” in any state, regardless of whether it’s a “Stand Your Ground” state like Florida, or a place that actively persecutes the law-abiding gun owner, like the District of Columbia?”
“It is ALWAYS based on someone’s “Feeling” that they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.. Always, always, always.”
“I mean, what do you think – that in Minnesota, there’s a Predator drone up aloft carrying out surveillance over dark alleys and trailer parks, so that there’s a photographic, objective trail of empmrrical third-party evidence as to which shootings are or are not self-defense?\ Flying up there with the unicorns that have all the money for your governlment spending plans?”
“No – in all 50 states and the D of C, self-defense is always, always, always, no exceptions about a party claiming to have felt in imminent danger of death or great harm. The difference is in how state law treats it; in Minnesota, the shooter has to prove the shooting was justified; in about half the states, the county attorney has to prove they weren’t”.
They usually run crying to their TV to see what Bill Maher tells them around this point.
The US 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court ruling on judicial campaigning and elections:
A deeply split federal appeals court restored Minnesota’s restrictions on fundraising and endorsements by judicial candidates on Tuesday, reversiång an earlier decision that held the state’s rules unconstitutional on free-speech grounds.
A plurality of judges on the fåull 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted to overturn a 2-1 ruling by a three-judge appeals panel in 2010. Five judges signed the main opinion, two signed concurrences, and a total of five signed two separate dissents.
The case relates to the ongoing quest to allow judicial candidates to freely speak and raise money, among other things:
At issue were the state Supreme Court’s limits on a judicial candidate’s ability to personally solicit campaign donations one-on-one, and its prohibition on judicial candidates from publicly endorsing or from opposing other candidates for public office except their opponents. The state allows judicial candidates to request contributions only when speaking to groups of 20 people or more, or from family members and other judges. Wersal says the restrictions give incumbents an unfair advantage and mean that few of them ever lose.
The judges’ reasoning, I think, is the interesting part -and when I say “interesting”, I mean “just a little bit maddening”:
The plurality, led by Judge Kermit Bye, concluded that the state’s rules are constitutional because Minnesota has a compelling interest in preserving not only judicial impartiality but also the appearance of it. Dissenters led by Judge Arlen Beam maintained that the rules do indeed violate First Amendment freedoms.
Judge Bye: when every court observer can predict the outcome of every case with remotely-political overtones based on judges’ known party affiliations, and when people can start handicapping vital actions like the Redistricting Panel’s decisions months in advance – correctly! – then there is no “appearance” of impartiality.
The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Wersal in a key 2002 ruling, and Wersal said he’ll ask the high court to review the latest decision too. The high court accepts only a few petitions for review, but Wersal said conflicting rulings from the 6th, 7th and now 8th Circuits improve his chances.
“And so the saga will continue,” Wersal said with a laugh. “We’ll just have to keep plugging away. Someday we’ll have free judicial elections in the state of Minnesota. It’s just going to be delayed a bit.”
Nah. A judge will issue an injunction.
Remember those hazy, crazy days three years ago? When Americans were just starting to rebel against Barack Obama’s encroaching socialism? And the Administration responded by starting its endless search for that elusive conservative hate group that would justify all the paranoia that Janet Napolitano was channeling through the media? When Homeland Security started distributing “watch lists” including tax protesters, pro-life groups and everyone who’d ever gone skeet shooting?
And how the left tittered with glee when they finally found their “right wing bitter gun-clinging extremist militia group” all chock-a-block with “weapons of mass destruction” that were ready to launch their holy war against all that was enlightened?
Well, then the Administration will be happy.
But I remember “the Hutaree”, the hapless MIchigan “militia” group that coudln’t shoot straight…
…or, apparently, actually justify any of the federal charges heaped upon them:
DETROIT — A federal judge on Tuesday gutted the government’s case against seven members of a Michigan militia, dismissing the most serious charges in an extraordinary defeat for federal authorities who insisted they had captured homegrown rural extremists poised for war.
U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said the members’ expressed hatred of law enforcement didn’t amount to a conspiracy to rebel against the government. The FBI had secretly planted an informant and an FBI agent inside the Hutaree militia starting in 2008 to collect hours of anti-government audio and video that became the cornerstone of the case.
“The court is aware that protected speech and mere words can be sufficient to show a conspiracy. In this case, however, they do not rise to that level,” the judge said on the second anniversary of raids and arrests that broke up the group.
Roberts granted requests for acquittal on the most serious charges: conspiring to commit sedition, or rebellion, against the U.S. and conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction. Other weapons crimes tied to the alleged conspiracies also were dismissed.
But all that Tea Party violene is out there, somewhere!
Maybe that “cut propane line” at the brother0-in-law of an obscure Democrat operative will pan out into something yet!
The wisdom of Scott Walker’s approach is being hailed by…
Or at least, that fraction of their mlembers that weren’t laid off, as we were warned they’d be?
When debate over public unions flared up in Wisconsin last year, educators claimed Gov. Scott Walker’s austere reforms would require thousands of teachers to be laid off.
They were wrong.
With small changes in pension and healthcare contributions while allowing school districts to buy health insurance plans on the open market, Walker’s reforms have resulted in what could be considered a statewide teacher-retention program. School districts such as Wauwatosa, hometown of Governor Walker and the Weekly Standard’s Fox News star Stephen Hayes, faced a $6.5 million deficit and planned to lay off dozens of teachers. But Walker’s reforms allowed all those teachers to remain employed.
At other large school districts such as LaCrosse, Racine, Wausau, and Beloit, if there were any layoffs at all, they were limited to two or fewer. And in addition to retaining teachers, the reforms have instituted merit-based pay systems that allow excellent teachers to be rewarded.
But was there a catch?
Silly wiberwal wabbits. There’s always a catch – and it comes from your side:
However, not all school districts adopted Walker’s reforms so readily. Milwaukee’s school district, which is immediately east of Wauwatosa, rammed through a union contact in December, just in time to avoid being subject to the reforms.
Now it appears the Milwaukee district is reconsidering its hasty action.
The Walker “Recall”, combined with the onset of Obamacare and Obama’s microphone flub with Medvedev, might be just about the best thing to happen to the GOP this year.
More recalls like this, and Walker might be the Presdent next year.
(Via commenter Bosshoss429)
Wisconsin “journalists” are in the bag for the recall of Scott Walker:
Jim Romenesko reports 25 news employees of Gannett newspapers in Wisconsin signed petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R).
But it’s OK; there’s a rational explanation:
Green Bay Press-Gazette: “A number of the journalists told their editors they did not consider signing the petition a political act. They equated it to casting a ballot in an election. But we do not make that distinction.”
It’s not a news flash (as it were) that reporters have this much trouble with logic (equating a public expression of political opinion with the state-sanctioned vote).
Or…maybe for some of the audience, it is?
It’s customary after the State of the Union address for a member of the legislative opposition to the President to give a response.
But Saint Paul is a one-party city. There is, currently, not a single elected Republican in any office anywhere in the city. Indeed, there is only one relatively conservative Democrat – Janice Rettman, on the County Commission – anywhere in Ramsey County.
So it falls to me to give the conservative response to Mayor Coleman’s State of the City address.
I fell in love with Saint Paul when I first really encountered it, 25 years ago. I’d moved to Minneapolis, it’s true – and had little real clue what Saint Paul was. Over the next year or so, I set myself straight; as I biked and drove around the city, I came to love the city’s distinct neighborhoods, each of which reminded me of a different place, built by a different group of newcomers.
And so I moved here in 1987, and I’ve lived here (with two years worth of temporary exceptions) ever since.
I stayed here because it was easy to get a nice house on a budget, because the neighborhoods were such nice places – someone once called the city “fifteen small towns with one mayor” -because you could live here much less expensively, because the crime rate was lower, and because the schools were, so we were told, better than in Minneapolis.
Yep. I fell in love with the place. A lot of us did.
And the relationship has become a classic case of Battered Spouse Syndrome.
You pass laws that catastrophically devalue our property, and then you jack up property taxes.
You acquiesce in the use of the city as a warehouse for the poor – and pour on the spending, heaping the burden onto those of us who actually pay taxes.
And the schools? I’m disgusted by what the Saint Paul Public Schools have become. I use “disgusted” because I don’t want to use a more colorful term. What a bottomless waste. And our kids are ones being robbed – or at least, the kids whose parents are misinformed enough to trust them to the district. And I know – that’s not the mayor’s job. But it’s a function of the one-party dystopia that this city has become.
Saint Paul has become dull. Hopeless. Depressed. After decades of cheerleading, downtown is sleepier than ever, but for the odd flashes of overcrowding during Wild games, concerts, Ordway shows or the Lowertown Art Crawl. The office vacancy rate is kept out of the three digit range only by the few remaining major employers – Hartford, Ecolab, Securian, USBank – and, of course, all. Those. Government. Offices. And. Workers.
The once-vibrant neighborhoods, outside the gentrified whir of Grand Avenue and the downmarket, multi-culti scrabble on Payne, are wondering where the next hit’s gonna come from.
Some may call this sour grapes from someone whose party is far out of power. OK – so what does the Coleman Administration have to brag about after seven miserable years in office? Cheerleading about community outreach education. A train that will do nothing useful for this city or the metro area – at best, gentrifying a few tiny islands while accelerating the rot in between. And maybe, just maybe, an expensive downtown stadium we can’t afford (which will be built by Mayor Coleman’s union underwriters, using labor that largely drives in from Inver Grove Heights and Elko). And spending. Always, always, more spending.
The state of the City of Saint Paul is atrocious. Deadening. Depressing. Dismal. Dingy. Bordering on Dire.
And there is no hope – none – on the horizon, because this is a one-party city, and the party in power, and that it appears will be in power for my kids’ lifetimes, is committed to fighting rot and blight with more rot and blight.
That’s the real state of Saint Paul. You’re welcome to it.
I still love my adopted city. But I doubt more than ever that it can survive its government.
Let me make a coupile of things crystal clear, lest the idiocracy that is the Twin Cities Sorosphere try to make hay by gang-raping the context of what I’m about to write:
- In a self-defense shooting, nobody wins. As you are repeatedly told in carry permit training, having to kill someone in justified self-defense is the second-worst possiible outcome. While most defensive gun uses involve no shots being fired – like, about 98% of them – there are usually around 1,000 homicides in the US every year that are ruled justifiable. Most of them leave behind a family mourning someone whose life took a tragic turn – and one shooter who has to live with one of the most terrible moral conundra known to man for the rest of their life. And even when it’s as justifiable as can be – a 100 poiund woman killing a 250 pound stalker with a sexual predator record longer than the woman’s legs – it’s almost always a tragedy for someone, and almost always a psychologically, to say nothing of financially, scarring event for the person who did the shooting, no matter how justified it was.
- I’m a parent. In particular, I’m a parent who’s had all sorts of trouble raising teenagers (although not nearly as much trouble as one particularly loathsome, depraved, morally retarded and, I think, disturbed leftyblogger would have people believe). Whenever I hear of some teenager and their family coming to grief in some awful tragedy – a car crash, suicide, overdose, a prank, stunt or impulsive criminal act gone wrong, or whatever – think “there but for the grace of God went I and mine”. Defusing IEDs is nothing compared to the impulses of a hormone-addled teenager under the best of circumstances. If the circumstances aren’t “the best?” Ugh.
With that said; did you hear that hissing sound? That was the sound of a media/liberal narrative starting to go flat (with emphasis added on occasion):
With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloody and battered, law enforcement authorities have revealed to the Orlando Sentinel.
That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say. There have been no reports that a witness saw that initial punch Zimmerman told police about.
Bear in mind, this is Zimmerman’s account – as, apparently, corroborated by witnesses. This is far from a final report from the investigators, much less any indication of what the county attorney, much less the Feds, will end up doing.
This is what the newspaper has learned about Zimmerman’s account to investigators:
He said he was on his way to the grocery store when he spotted Trayvon walking through his gated community.
Trayvon was visiting his father’s fiancée, who lived there. He had been suspended from school in Miami after being found with an empty marijuana baggie. Miami schools have a zero-tolerance policy for drug possession.
And so on, and so on.
This is no more final and definitive than the left’s hooting and hollering about “murder” and “stalking” and “profiling” were last week…
…except that this time it’s the police, rather than Media Matters (and you can expect a campaign to discredit the police department and prosecutors from the left’s chanting points bots next).
Two facts here:
First: under Florida law, Zimmerman is considered innocent until proven guilty: since it’s a plausible (!) self-defense claim, it’s the police and prosecutors’ job to prove he wasn’t in legitimate fear of death or great bodily harm, that he used excessive force, and that he was a willing participant. As a result, expect Media Matters and, eventually, the media to start second-guessing the whole Fifth Amendment thing when they really really really want to find someone guilty of something.
Second? The Administration has to be getting nervous. As we discussed yesterday, the Administration needs this incident to keep their constituents – Afro-Americans and lily-white urban liberals – whipped up. But lynch mobs have short attention spans, especially if they can’t actually lynch anyone.
As I said when the shoe was on the other foot and the media was telling us in lock-step that Zimmerman was a cold-blooded murderer – we don’t know everything yet.
And by “we”, I mean “and that means you too, liberal know-it-all who believes anything the media has to say about anything”.
A few years back, I intereviewed Staff Sergeant David Bellavia.
At that time, he’d just published his book, House to House, which was one of the very best books about tip-of–the-knife infantry combat I’ve ever read. Up there with Band of Brothers or The Forgotten Soldier. It is that good. If you haven’t read it, you need to.
And I’m utterly thrilled to see that SSG Bellavia is running for Congress in the NY27, the greater Batavia area.
He also has a Twitter feed.
If you’re an upstate NY reader, or have a few bucks to spare whereever you are, New York could do an awful lot worse – and usually does – than send Mr. Bellavia to Congress.
Sandra Fluke got laid off from her position as “Obama Administration Stage Prop”.
Trayvon Martin has the gig now.
I’ve been pondering why the Administration has been going so long on the Martin case.
Certainly the Obama administration has hated guns all along; the President tried use the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to pin responsibility for Mexico’s ‘drug wars on the law-abiding American gun owner. The fact that the media has been so utterly hands-off with “Fast and Furious” should show you just what an explosive scandal it should be; the Government trying to set up the majority of its own population?
Can you imagine what they’d have said if George W. Bush had used the FBI to set up a sting to try to blame 9/11 on Democrats, purely for political gain on a wedge issue?
So of course, Obama would like to find some way to take a chunk out of firearm rights, a movement that has spit in the eye of the left and (are you listening, MNGOP Legislative caucus) won, and won consistently for the past thirty years, by setting its bar high and not compromising on core principle
But gun control is only part of the story.
Here’s the real story: Afro-Americans are losing their enthusiasm for Obama. Oh, not in a way that’ll lose him the black vote – but Obama’s initial election depended entirely on a whipped up base. Obama is going to face an uphill fight getting his based whipped up, though; whatever “recovery” we’re in has largely skipped the black community; the black unemployment rate of 14% (actually up in the past month) only tells part of the story; while 59.6% of the general population is actually working, only 53% of the black working-age population has a job.
That’s catastrophic. Not only has the black community not gotten any of the hopey-changey yet, it’s inescapable that if you’re black in America, you are worse off than you were four years ago.
Of course, a black kid getting killed is hardly news. It’s sad but true; it happens all the time. And the white liberal media could hardly care less; confronting the horrendous death and incarceration rate among black youth – to say nothing of black unemployment – would force them to confront liberalism’s failures, which means confronting its institutional racism. So while the possibly unjust death of a young black man may be good for enthusiasm points, if it doesn’t get media coverage, it’s the proverbial tree falling alone in a forest.
But when you combine a dead black kid with an issue that does get the white liberal media exercised – their fear of citizens with guns? You’ve got political gold. Suddenly, you’ve got media coverage!
And that’s why Trayvon Martin is in the news, and Sandra Fluke is out. Every dim-bulb that can be fooled into thinking “Republicans will ban contraception” has already been fooled. Now it’s time to hoodwink the ones that think Republicans want to arm white people to kill black people.
And the media – wittingly or not – is totally on board with that.
To: News Department, KMSP-TV (“Fox Nine”)
From: Mitch Berg, very occasional viewer
Re: A Warning
To whom it may concern,
I don’t watch a lot of TV news – but for whatever reason, I do wind up watching your morning news; it does carry a fair amount of local news, and yeah, I like Marler’s weather. So sue me.
But I had your 9PM news on last night. I noticed that you had jumped on the national “Trayvon Martin” bandwagon with both feet. That’s understandable – it bled, so it led.
I could go over some of the points of your coverage that were, er, squishy – but that’s really not why I’m writing.
I noticed that you were very prominently using Heather Martens as a source for your coverage. Martens, you note, is the “Executive Director” of “Protect Minnesota”. If you check a little bit, you might also find she may very well be the sole member of “Protect Minnesota”; if there are half a dozen members, you might want to try to vet them, because I’ll lay odds that most of them are ringers from the Second Amendment movement. The late Joel Rosenberg used to tell stories of going to Heather Martens’ meetings and finding that every single person at the gathering other than Martens was a Second Amendment activist. At any rate – it’s not a “group”; it’s a checkbook advocacy front. It’s also the third name Martens has been through in the past ten years. For most of the past decade, “they” were “Citizens For A “Safer” Minnesota”; before that, they were something like “Gun-Free Minnesota” or “Minnesota Without Guns” or something like that; I’ve forgotten, but let’s be honest, so have you. They keep getting shredded in the marketplace of ideas; they keep having to change their name.
Anyway, my point is this – if Heather Martens says it, it’s most likely wrong. I was going to say “it’s most likely a lie”, and that is the truth, but I’m trying to be all calm and measured here.
No, seriously; have me on one of your debate segments – if she’ll agree to come on against me. I’ve shredded everything she’s said and written for a decade now. There is not even a faded patina of fact in a single utterance she makes.
Just saying – while there are lots of things to be written about the Trayvon Martin case, and even some about Minnesota’s proposed Stand Your Ground Bill (although most of your other sources on that subject are also lying hacks), Heather Martens is not the one you should be going to to find them.
Presuming, of course, “covering the news” is your goal, rather than “fluffing the narrative”.
I just thought you should know.
Have your people call my people – or the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, of course – if you ever want the whole story, complete with real facts.
That is all.
One dark, ambiguous evening, a black youth was shot under circumstances that, to the local media, were confusing. Not much information was available; the youth was shot by a citizen with a legal handgun. The citizen claimed self-defense.
So the local media did what they always do on big stories – shootings! – when not much information is available, as they waited for the details of the investigation to go public. They found stuff to write about.
They interviewed the deceased’s mother and family – who, stricken with grief, demanded justice. They talked with friends of the deceased, and community leaders, many of whom wondered why the law allowed mere citizens to use lethal force, or to be able to claim “self-defense” with such seeming impunity.
Some of the media’s learned observers scratched their furrowed brows and pondered aloud (or in print) whether the changes the legislature had made in 2005 to the state’s laws regarding self-defense were wise – repeating things many of them had written at the time.
I am of course, not talking about the Trayvon Martin case. I’m talking the Evanovich case in Minneapolis last fall. You had the family. You had the friends and community leaders. Furrowed learned brows? Check .
You had everything you have today in the Martin case, with one exception; a resolution. Media caterwauling notwithstanding, it was a legitimate enough case of self-defense to prompt the frothingly anti-gun, anti-Second-Amendment, anti-law-abiding-citizens-with-guns Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman to praise the shooter.
The point of this post is not to try to compare the Evanovich and Martin cases; in terms of the factual and legal specifics, it’d be stupid to try, since we, the non-investigators, know nothing about the facts of the case.
Well, almost nothing; we know what the local Florida and national media have told us about the case.
And if there are any lessons from the Evanovich shooting to apply to the Martin case, they are…:
- When it comes to emotionally-charged cases, the media is no better off at getting the facts than we are. And that’s a best case. Because…
- …whether they will admit it or not, the media has a narrative; the higher up the media food chain you go, the worse it gets. The law-abiding gun owner, the bitter, gun-clinging Jebus freak, is a powder keg just waiting to blow. They’ve been saying it, one way or another – if not in their editorial stances, then via their editorial selection bias – since 1983, when Florida passed its “Shall Issue” law. They did it with each of the 30+ states that have passed similar laws in the past 29 years. They did it when Florida passed “Stand Your Ground” seven years ago, and in each of the dozens of states that have some combination of “Stand Your Ground” and “Castle” laws. They’re still predicting it. We’re still waiting for it to happen. But hey, it’s only been almost thirty years; one of these days, the powder keg’s just gotta blow, right?
On gun issues even more than most others when it comes to the mainstream media; distrust, then verify. Then, almost invariably, distrust some more.
That’s not to say the Martin case might very well not be a legitimate shooting.
We don’t know.
And when I say “we”, I mean “especially those of you who get your information on the case from the mainstream media”.