We don’t know what happened in the jury room in Oregon yesterday – but as we noted last night, a jury acquitted all of Ammon Bundy’s group of all charges.

The decision smells like jury nullification – the notion that a jury can invalidate bad law by not finding people guilty of it.

Say what you will about the Bundy clan and their methods, but the original charge that led to the fracas – the “setting a fire in federal property” rap that arose from a controlled blaze that became not-so-controlled and overlapped federal property in the trackless waste of eastern Oregon – was a crock and needed to be nullified.

And, as a lot of libertarian Westerners (or as the Southern Poverty Law Center would refer to them, “terrorists”) have been talking about for a long time, the jury would have none of it.

The feds don’t like being denied:

Ammon Bundy’s lawyer Marcus Mumford argued that his client, dressed in a gray suit and white dress shirt, should be allowed to walk out of the court, a free man.

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown told him that there was a U.S. Marshal’s hold on him from a pending federal indictment in Nevada.

“If there’s a detainer, show me,” Mumford stood, arguing before the judge.

Suddenly, a group of about six U.S. Marshals surrounded Mumford at his defense table. The judge directed them to move back but moments later, the marshals  grabbed on to him.

“What are you doing?” Mumford yelled, as he struggled and was taken down to the floor.

As deputy marshals yelled, “Stop resisting,” the judge demanded, “Everybody out of the courtroom now!”

Mumford was taken into custody, a member of his legal team confirmed.

Ammon Bundy’s lawyer J. Morgan Philpot, said afterwards on the courthouse steps that Mumford had been arrested and marshals had used a stun gun, or Taser, on his back.

Jurors (apparently) nullified the charges because, one suspects, they believe the feds have become an authoritarian bureaucracy.  The feds then give them evidence to support the thesis.

It’s going to be an interesting four years.

A Slip Of The Lip. Or Typing Finger. Whatever.

Preya Samsundar continues to beat the stuffing out of the Twin Cities institutional media in reporting on Minneapolis DFL legislative candidate Ilhan Omar’s fuzzy marital history.


Only this time, she may have done it with the unwitting help of the City Pages’ DFLer-with-byline Cory Zurowski:

Whether or not Mr. Zurowski realizes it, he has shed new light into the Omar case. The story, which was originally published on Wednesday, October 26, Mr. Zurowski wrote that Ilhan Omar’s father is named “Nur Said Elmi Mohamed”. A day later, Zurowski’s article was changed and now Omar’s father’s name appears in the article as “Nur Omar Mohamed”.

Read the whole thing.

And then ask yourselves why nobody in the Twin Cities media is covering this story.

To use a Glenn Reynolds line, it helps if you think of reporters as Democrat operatives with bylines.  Who, in this case, don’t want to be barred from the Saint Paul Grill.

It Was 25 Years Ago Tonight

Game 7 of the 1991 series.

I was sitting kitty-corner from the Dome that night, working a night shift at KDWB. After I got off the air, I went into the conference room and watched the last couple innings with the rest of the night crew (and some of the weekday crew who wanted to be downtown if the Twins won). I think I danced on the conference table after that final out.

It’s also fun to hear the late Jack Buck calling the game. I had one of the stranger free-lance gigs of my life in 1987, holding Jack Buck’s cassette deck as he interviewed Tommy Kramer after a Vikings game.

Anyway – 25 years ago tonight was one of the most incredible nights of my life. And, I’m sure, most of yours’.

OK, enough jabbering.  For your viewing pleasure – the entire Game 7.

About Those Death Panels

As we’ve noted in this space in the past – while no health insurance provider has a room with the words “Death Panel” on an embossed brass plate on the door, the notion of allocation of services, including life-saving ones, to make sure scarce supplies of life-extending medicine and treatment go to the people who’ll gain the most usable lifespan, has been around for a long time.  It’s an integral part of the HMO business model.

In other words, if they’ve got one liver available, and one person on the transplant list is a 32 year old marathon-running woman who’s never smoked, and one is a 62 year old diabetic smoker, you can guess who’s going to get the liver, and who’s going on “palliative care” right?

And while that decision may not be made by people whose job title says “Death Panelist”, if you’re the 62 year old diabetic, it’s all tomayto tomahto, right?

Anyway – to those who thought calling the above the equivalent of a “death panel’ was overreach, I present this:

About one-year ago, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state’s assisted-suicide bill into law. It fully went into effect this June, with the opening of the first clinic. While there is no data on the number of California assisted-suicides, Oregon recorded over 130 last year as part of their legalized physician-assisted death program.

Now, one young mother says her insurance company denied her coverage for chemotherapy treatment after originally agreeing to provide the fiscal support for it, but indicated it would be willing to pay for assisted suicide instead.

No, it’s not just one woman:

Packer attends meetings with others suffering from terminal illnesses. She indicates that the tone of those meetings have changed since the California assisted-suicide law was enacted.

“As soon as this law was passed – and you see it everywhere, when these laws are passed – patients fighting for a longer life end up getting denied treatment, because this will always be the cheapest option.”

Packer attends a support group for terminally ill patients. She said legally sanctioned suicide has changed the tone of the meetings, which used to be “positive and encouraging.” With patients under new societal pressure to kill themselves, she said meetings “became negative, and it started consuming people. And then they said, ‘You know what? I wish I could just end it.’”

There’s a website for patients concerned that insurance companies under price pressure  are trying to strongarm them into killing themeselves.

Yep.  It’s come to this.

So – you can’t keep your doctor, or the plan you like, your prices are going to rise, and if your life is inconveniently expensive for your insurer, it will try to kill you.

Thanks, Obama.


The “Pirate” party is poised to take power in Iceland..

…and then give it back:

Although the Pirate Party formed just four years ago, its popularity has skyrocketed — most likely for unconventional tactics aligning loosely with libertarianism — the promotion of privacy rights and personal freedoms, and simultaneous shrinking of Big Government.

Edward Snowden has been offered the safe haven of Icelandic citizenship should the Pirates likely victory come to fruition — which makes sense, given the party’s anti-establishment roots.

In fact, the Pirates have experienced astonishing success in a short time — taking the nation’s longstanding political traditionalists off-guard in the process — even the group’s founder, a programmer and former Wikileaks activist, is stunned.

The GOP needs to learn a few lessons from the Pirates.

I’ll  be here to teach ’em.

A Luddite Of Things

I’ve been deeply ambivalent about “the Internet Of Things” (IoT) for as long as geeks  have been jabbering about it.

Now, bear in mind, I work in technology; I design how people and technology (at various levels) interact.  My home office looks like Chloe O’Brien’s cubicle, or Vernon Reid’s effects rig.

But I gotta draw the line at an internet that communicates between discrete machines and the people who run them.

Net-controlled home security?  Cars?  Ubiquitous online connections to everything we interact with in life?

Well, not after last Friday, where apparently cheap, insecure IoT devices in various online-enabled appliances – DVRs, video cameras and the like – were harnessed by incredibly sophisticated hackers to launch a denial of service attack that took down vast swathes of the internet.

I’ll drive my own car and lock my own doors, thanks.

Public-Private Partnerships

A friend of the blog writes:

Neighborhood Facebook page was discussing what will happen when non-profits are no longer paying ROW fees in St Paul. I questioned exactly what our property taxes, which continue to rise, are paying for if the ROW assessments are paying for basic city services. Now, I see- people are paying higher taxes which then go into grants to small businesses to hire city contractors to pay workers double wages to do shoddy work

Read the whole thing; it’s a classic contractor horror story combined with a classic incompetent government story.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed about this story:

Two thoughts:

One, prohibition doesn’t work.  Not even in prison.  People will get what they want, somehow.  Gun controllers, take note.

Two, dead men tell no tales and they also buy no cocaine. There’s always a trade-off, in every policy choice.

joe doakes

Today’s debate:  “Divulge details about HIllary, or stay alive?”

Shot In The Dark: Today’s Corruption News, Six Years Ago

In the aftermath of the 2010 election, I noted that the Star/Tribune “Minnesota” and Humphrey Institute polls were consistently, statistically, not only erroneous, but in a very suspiciously consistent way; in their polling, especially their election-eve polls, they always showed Republicans doing much much worse than they ended up doing – and this correlation was even stronger in races that ended up being close.

I also pointed out actual research indicating that a “bandwagon effect” had been identified in political polling; that negative polling about one’s candidate tended to make that candidate’s supporters stay home from the polls.

At the time, I noted that it was possible the media – operating in their capacity as Democrat operatives with bylines – might not be doing it on purpose to drive down Republican turnout in close elections – but if they were, it’s hard to think of what they’d be doing differently.

I needn’t have hedged; when I suspect the media of some pro-Democrat perfidy, I’m rarely disappointed.

John Podesta’s emails, hacked by Wikileaks, show that the Democrats, working through their network of sympathetic pundits, journalists and pollsters, have been doing exactly what I suspected they were;  getting pollsters to jiggle the samping to underpoll Republicans and overpoll Democrats.

“Suspicion of Democrat perfidy is all but certainly proof, and is almost always correct”.  It might be a Berg’s Law soon.


A Good Guy With A Gun: South Dakota Edition

71 year old carry permit holder shoots carjacker in Sioux Falls:

A couple was sitting in their vehicle in the parking lot of the Red Rock Inn on 41st Street when [suspect Edward] LeBlanc attempted to steal their car. Clemens says LeBlanc forced open one of the doors of the car and hit the 71-year-old driver. However, the driver had a handgun in his pocket, and shot LeBlanc twice.

Police eventually located LeBlanc at a nearby McDonald’s. He was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Clemens says the driver, from Bixby, Okla., had a concealed weapon permit and likely will not face any charges. His injuries were not serious.

In Chcago, this would’ve ended with a jacked car, an injured or dead senior citizens and a pristinely unharmed criminal.

I like this way better.

More Of This

Stewart Mills leads Rick “The Fossil” Nolan in the CD8 race, according to KSTP:

In a rematch of one of the closest congressional races in the country two years ago, Republican Stewart Mills leads Democratic incumbent Rick Nolan by four points in Minnesota’s 8th District, 45 percent to 41 percent, in our exclusive KSTP/SurveyUSA poll. However, a significant number of voters remain undecided, 14 percent, and could swing this election either way.

“You have to keep in mind there’s been wall-to-wall political advertising” in this race, says political scientist Steven Schier of Carleton College. “It’s the most expensive race in the country and still 14 percent are undecided so it’s still anybody’s game.”

I’ve seen other polling that shows Mills with a bigger lead…

…but six years ago, Cravack was merely polling below even with Oberstar at this point in the race.

Watch for a LOT of Sorosbucks.

First Things First

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The slogan “America First” has historical connotations.  Set history aside for a minute, just think about the principles of self-government. 

 If you don’t believe the American government should put America’s interest ahead of all other nations, then whose interest should be first? 

 Who should we mortgage our children’s future for, so we can send money to another nation to solve their problems instead of spending it here to solve our own problems? 

 Whose border should we send our finest young men and women to defend, instead of deploying them to defend our own border?

 Libya?  Iran?  Cuba?

 Joe Doakes

Who’s given most to the Clinton Foundation?

When Out And About Tomorrow

There’s a “League of Women Voters” event in Bloomington tomorrow:  “Guns, the Issues”.

It’s going to be a panel discussion featuring, on the pro-criminal side, the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence of Protect Criminals Minnesota and Maplewood Police chief (and DFL mouthpiece) Paul Schnell, versus Bryan Strawser and Sarah Cade of the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee.

How to get there?
Schneider Theater at Bloomington Civic Plaza,
1800 West Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN 55431

Tickets are free, but they’re asking you to register here.  And all questions are being solicited in advance1, so get ’em in there.

I’ll see you all there tomorrow evening.  Hope you can show up; the pro-criminal side doesn’t have much game, but they don’t have much to do, so they tend to show up at these events.

The One Time Bernie Sanders Was Right

Well, partly

The former presidential candidate, Democrat rigging victim and socialist once famously complained that Americans had “too many choices” in the free market (to audiences of bobbleheaded millennials and vacuous hippies whose lifestyles would not exist without the surplus wealth the free market creates).

He was an idiot, of course.

But he was right about one thing; one Saint Paul brew pub has given drinkers a choice that, to a real beer drinker and confection fan, is not a choice at all; they’ve combined two flavors that never, ever belong together.

Don’t make me come down there.

You Have Two Seconds

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:


Democrats are running a television ad against Jason Lewis, candidate for John Kline’s congressional seat, featuring this quote: “People have no idea what a great deal the American foreclosure system is.”

 Lewis is entirely correct, of course, but explaining it takes longer than a 2-second sound bite so Liberals can’t be bothered to understand.  They hear “foreclosure” which in their minds is “bad” and that’s enough to cement the mental link “Lewis = bad.”

 Look, if you want to buy a house that costs $180,000 – go buy it.  Oh, you don’t have that much saved up in the bank?  So take a loan to buy it.  Of course, the lender will want collateral for the loan, that’s only prudent.  Do you have gold, jewels, furs, bonds you can pledge?  No?  For most of history, and in many countries around the world today, that’s the end of the story.  No collateral, no loan, no house.

 America’s system of mortgage-backed lending lets you pledge the house itself as collateral for the loan you are taking to buy the house.  If you can’t repay the loan, the bank sells the house at auction and applies the sale proceeds toward your loan balance, leaving you with a much smaller loan balance to repay.  Minnesota’s optional foreclosure by advertisement process is even better – the lender takes the house and writes off the rest of the loan balance: you owe nothing.  No debt, no judgment, no garnishment, no debtor’s prison; you walk away and in a few years, when your credit is rebuilt, you buy a different house.

 The mortgage foreclosure system is what gives America one of the highest home-ownership rates in the world.  Jason Lewis is entirely correct and Democrats attacking him are entirely wrong. 

 But I’m over my 2-second limit. 

 Joe Doakes

We’ve known for years; Democrats are going for the voters that only need two seconds of chanting points to be convinced.

And don’t laugh; their votes count just as much as yours do.

I Remember Searching For The Perfect NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air!

Today on the show:

  • Frank Drake, candidate to replace Keith Ellison in Congress, will join me.

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson is normally heard on “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

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

Join us!

A Sincere Question

I have left-of-center friends who say, with a completely straight face, that Hillary Clinton is “the most qualified person in history”.


Qualified?  Perhaps.  Let’s leave her marriage and serial covering for a sexual predator out of it; her resume includes quite a number of punched political tickets.

But “most qualified in history?”   Someone please explain.  Because “history” is a very long time (although I’m pretty convinced liberals understand it as poorly as they do economics).

Because she’s a former Secretary of State?  Leaving aside the fact that she was a terrible SecState who may have bested (worsted?) Madeline Albright for the title of “Worst SecState of my lifetime” (and possibly all time), what was her big accomplishment, other than racking up a lot of miles in VIP jets?   And leaving that aside – there’ve been six Secretaries of State who became President, many of them with records much better than Clinton’s.  Even James Buchanan, who went on to become one of the worst presidents of all time, left a more positive legacy as our nation’s top diplomat than Clinton did.

In the Senate?   She was thoroughly undistinguished.   But for her name and PR presence, she was a mediocre senator at best.

If she were a man, and not the (ahem) “spouse” of a former president, she’d be waaaay back in the pack.  A nobody.  An also-ran – assuming that analogous male could have gotten elected to anything anyway.

Seriously – what is her “qualification?”

 (I’ll acknowledge all the usual “she has ovaries” responses in advance.  I’m actually trying to figure out why libs think what they do.  I have my suspicions).

The Self-Trolling Minority

I am blessed in many ways that my college English major advisor, the late Dr. Jim Blake, worked so hard to put the kibosh on any idea I might have had of being a college professor.  It was the right call in so many ways.

But there are times I feel a tinge of regret, if only because it’s foreclosed any opportunity to pull an epic troll like this professor has done.

Essentially, calling someone ‘he’ or ‘she’ when they really want to be called ‘ze’ is on track to becoming on par with using racial slurs.

Peterson doesn’t like this one bit. In an effort to oppose the bill, he’s been attending free speech rallies and publishing articles online explaining his viewpoint.

In an interview with The Daily Signal, he said, “The law should be very careful when it mandates what people have to say.

There’s a big difference between being required to not say something, and being required to say something. One is closing your mouth. The other one is putting a hand inside you and forcing you to be a puppet.”

Don’t believe the article?

Puppetry is, of course, what academia is about these days.