Deigning

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

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

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

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

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

For fun and games, see tweets with hashtag howweroll.

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

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

Orwell Would Puke…

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

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

Without even a hint of due process.

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

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

So why do it at all?

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

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

We’ll keep you posted.

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

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

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

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

Credentials

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, honest Democrats praised expertise:

Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz) wrote this about “Terrorism” by Benjamin Netanyahu, released in 1986:

“Few are as well equipped to bring us this message as Netanyahu. He currently serves as Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations. Netanyahu not only distinguished himself as a commander in many operations for his country’s military but served for several years as the executive director of the Jonathan In stitute, a Jerusalem research foundation on terrorism. He has been touched in the most personal way by modern terrorism. His brother, Lt. Jonathan Netanyahu, died leading the historic Entebbe rescue mission and is the namesake of the institute.”

President Obama says Netanyahu lacks credibility because he’s been wrong about Iran before, predicting bad things that haven’t happened yet. Meanwhile, the UN says it can’t finish its inspection because Iran is still lying about its nuclear program

.

Joe Doakes

Just has everything Obama says has a shelf date, so this everything in the Democrat past.

All Talk

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is setting up a grill on his porch, getting ready for a little pre-spring grilling.  Victor VON-SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE pulls up, parks his car, and walks up the sidewalk to BERG’s porch.

VON-SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE: Hah, Berg!  The  GOP doesn’t have the guts to say anything like this:

IMG_3306.JPG

BERG: So you’ve got what, here? A slick, cutesy meme about what the Libertarian Party would do, if it were in power?

VON-SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE: Yep! The GOP doesn’t have the balls to say anything of the sort!

BERG: Huh. I guess you’re right. But I’ve got a question for you.

VON-SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE: Shoot.

BERG: Does the Libertarian Party have “the balls” to say anything like this?

MITCH BERG will save 8 TRILLION DOLLARS

by INSTANTLY PRIVATIZING THE ENTIRE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!

 

WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY DATING SCARLETT JOHANNSON AND JENNIFER LAWRENCE!

Has the Libertarian Party said anything like this yet?

VON-SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE:  Well, no…

BERG:  Statists!  RINOs!  Impure!  Unable to talk the big-enough-talk!

VON-SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE:  But…but…you can’t actually make any of that happen!

BERG:  Right!  And the Libertarian Party can’t make anything it says happen either.  So go away and don’t come back until the Libertarian Party can talk really big!

VON-SCHLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE glumly shuffles back to his car. 

And SCENE.

Carry On, My Straight-Laced Son

There’s not much happening on Second Amendment issues – that the mainstream media wants to report on, anyway; I never expected they’d cover the local Real American Second Amendment Human Rights movement going on the offensive, especially.

But there were a few half-hearted attempts to roil the pot this past week.

Channel 9 noted last week that carry permit issuances are off by 1/3 in the past year – while leaving it to the reader to figure out for themselves that they’re still running 2.5 times ahead of 2010, before the Obama Panic started.

Regional lefties tried to make a little hay over these numbers:

Individuals with permits to carry committed 1,320 crimes in 2014, according to reports from law enforcement. Only 20 of those crimes involved the use of a pistol to commit the crime, while more than half of these crimes were DWIs or other traffic offenses that had nothing to do with firearms.

In other words, a group making up 3% of the population commits a tiny fraction of 3% of the state’s “gun crimes” (and let’s ignore for a moment that “gun crimes” means everything from murder – there were none – to inadvertently carrying a gun in a post-office).

Simple fact; law-abiding gun owners are better citizens, on the average, than the typical Minnesotan.

More context?  There are now about 180,000 Minnesotans with carry permits.  Ten years ago, the House Research office figured that a maximum of 90,000 would get their cards; I figured it’d peak around 55-60,000, since most “shall-issue” states tended to level off around 1% of the population.  We’re around triple that now. And while the numbers will likely drop (and could drop to zero, if we pass “Constitutional Carry“, which won’t happen until 2017 at best), they have completely blown away even supporters’ most optimistic predictions…

…in every way but literally, as MPR’s Bob Collins noted in a story earlier this week that pointed out that…:

“They thought the streets were going to be running with blood, but statistically, it hasn’t shown itself as a problem in terms of an increase in the amount of gun crimes,” Cmdr. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office told the Star Tribune.

He’s right. More than 10 years after the pitched battle over the law, it’s clear the hyperbole from both sides was overwrought. We’re not ducking road-rage shootouts, but we’re not fending off criminals, either, the Pioneer Press said.

Well, Collins is half right.  The opponents’ hyperbole – as was predicted in this space – turned out to be the same onanistic fantasy that it’s been in every other state that’s adopted “shall-issue” permitting.

But what was the “hyperbole” among the supporters?

There was none.  No credible supporter predicted that we’d see groups of law-abiding citizens with carry permits holding off crooks like a beleaguered Vietnam-era firebase, up to their knees in enemy bodies and spent cartridges.   We predicted at the time, in fact, nothing spectacular; just a slow, quiet diminution in crime.

Although I’d love to ask Bob Collins “why so bloodthirsty?”  There haven’t been many self-defense shootings by permittees – we’ve reported on several in this space over the years – although each of them involves an innocent person who is alive that likely would not have been without a gun.  And the stats don’t reliably count the number of deterrences that don’t involve anyone getting killed (like this one) much less without shots being fired.

It’s not much ado about nothing.

Trulbert! Part XXXI

 - 1:26PM , November 7, 2015 – TCF Stadium, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

The sell-out crowd of 50,805 people at TCF Stadium, and hundreds of thousands more watching on TVs across Minnesota, watched dumbfounded as the camera switched to a view of NFL Commissioner Del Goodwin, and the owners of the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, and a variety of other NFL officials, dancing naked in a wading pool under a shower of top-shelf whiskey, champagne, beer and wine being poured on them by naked prostitutes.

Another prostitute sprinkled handfuls of finely powdered cocaine over the revelers, creating a dust-cloud of chemical stimulation swirling and eddying among the gouts, sprinkles and geysers of fine liquor, forming a mix that Goodwin flopped down into, wallowing and rolling and rubbing all over his and a couple of selected hookers’ bodies.

 - 1:26 PM, November 7, 2015 – TV Control Trailer, Outside TCF Stadium

“Holy crap”, Paul Hendrickson whispered.

“If NFL games are anything, they’re predictable”, Fleen quipped, grinning.+

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Chicago on Lake Superior

In lieu of a mining industry – which Metrocrat environmentalists from the Twin Cities have been keeping nice and shut down for decades – the DFL substitutes a lot of state money to try to tease some economic activity out of the Iron Range.

Part of that, traditionally, is the cataract of money that has gone through the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board – more commonly called the IRRRB, but more accurately referred to as a “Taxpayer-financed DFL Slush Fund”.

The Strib’s Jennifer Bjorhus will never do lunch in Minneapolis again, having written this generally excellent piece.  The IRRRB may not have reinvigorated The Range, but they sure have greased a lot of DFL palms (emphasis added):

For years, prominent Democratic candidates and political groups have used the obscure center tucked among hills and pines to canvass and raise money from small donors. DFL organizations, state and national, have paid the phone bank’s current and former owners about $80 million over the last decade, campaign records show.

The call center relocated to Eveleth in 2006 thanks in part to a $625,000 loan from a unique state agency called the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). It doles out about $40 million each year, much of it from a tax on taconite, in the name of bolstering and diversifying the Range economy.

In its first incarnation, the call center on the Range failed to meet job targets, but the IRRRB gave the company, Meyer Associates, more time to repay the loan. It shut down anyway last year. The IRRRB let Meyer’s owner walk away and wrote off the $250,000 Meyer owed, records show.

Then a former Meyer executive reopened the phone bank under the name of his new company. The deal allowed him to pay $50,000 for equipment that had been purchased with $500,000 in IRRRB money. The largest political client for the call center remained the same: a group called Dollars for Democrats.

Of course there’s a rational explanation!

Officials at the IRRRB say jobs, not politics, are behind its dealings with the two firms.

“There’s still 100 people working there,” said former state Rep. Tom Rukavina, a DFLer who served on the IRRRB board for years and once hired Meyer to make calls for his own campaign. “That to me is a success story. Any time I went in that office people clapped and thanked me that they had a job.”

So should the taxpayer provide cut-rate financing and pennies-on-the-dollar equipment and infrastructure for the GOP?  The NRA?  Pro-Life Action?  The Tea Party?

If the IRRRB weren’t a DFL slush fund, and an equal opportunity graft machine, you’d see some equal-opportunity gravy-training.

Somehow, there seems to be none…

Timid

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Not every Hero is a Yank. This one is a Canuck. Good on him.

Sadly, Steyn’s fear that the average man is now fretting over microaggresions in an ivory tower is far too real.

In fact, it might make an interesting study to map Physical Altercations against Timidity.

How many physical fights have you had in your life?
How timid are you in business, in finance, in foreign affairs?

It may be that humans need to learn how to fight to learn how to win. Modern Americans never fight – not even verbally. How can we hope to win?

Joe Doakes

Generation after generation, somehow we do.

But hope is not a strategy.

Chanting Points Memo: Our Collective Burden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Except for the permanent government class, of course.

Signs

Even if the United States were not being led by the pusillanimous and incompetent Obama administration, it would be high time for Middle Eastern and NATO countries to start picking up some of the burden of dealing, financially and militarily, with the terrorist threat they face.

And time will tell whether this story checks out, or is more than a token effort.

It’s worth noting that the Reggimento San Marco is the Italian version of the Marine Corps.

Trial Balloon

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

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

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

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

Joe Doakes

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

Life In The NARN Lane; Sure To Make You Lose Your Mind

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today!

Today on the show,

  • Jimmy Meeks talks with us about the underreported violence in and against churches, and efforts to address it.

Don’t forget - King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

Trulbert! Part XXX – Armageddon’s Two Minute Warning

 - 1:23 PM, November 7, 2015 – TV Control Trailer, Outside TCF Stadium

The control room crew had hurried through the line, grabbing styrofoam plates of walleye and cheese and eating a quick meal at their stations.  Tartabull – first in line – had briefly looked at Fleen, sensing something a little off, but he had bigger fish to fry, as it were.

By 1:23, the crew had finished their lunches, and the network was about ready to throw back to Minneapolis for commentary from Jackson, Khalid and Bazongas.

Fleen, Hendrickson, the Codricius and Broadman dug under piles of uneaten walleye as Tartabull got his crew ready to start the second half.

“OK”, said Tartabull, donning his headset.  ”Stand by.  What’s the count?”

“Back in ten” said the satellite producer.

“Ready 51, ready swoosh, stand by in the booth”. Tartabull got ready to head into the second half.

“Excuse us.  There’s a change in the plan for today’s broadcast”, Todd Fleen  exclaimed.  The assembled control room crew turned as one to see Fleen holding a clump of cheese-drenched fish to Lisa Rothchild’s head.

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The Cell Phone Neutrality Act Of 1987

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

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

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

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

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

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

From The Boneyard

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We’re restoring an airplane that was built in the 1950′s and parked in the desert for a decade . . . because we don’t have enough flyable airplanes to defend the nation without it.

What. The.

Joe Doakes

look at the bright side – and there are some bright sides. A government program – “The Boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona – worked as designed; an aircraft in long-term storage is actually brought back from reserve. And it cost far, far less to do it then it would have to build a new airplane…

… even if the American defense industry were capable of building another aircraft like it. Which it’s not, without going through the Pentagon’s long, costly and disgracefully wasteful procurement process.