What The News Doesn’t Report

Scott Johnson posted an article on Power Line Blog today about an incident at the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota.

The article quotes Alpha News:

A mob of eight to 10 males wielding hammers descended upon bystanders at the East Bank Light Rail station on Friday night injuring several, according to recorded police dispatch audio.

The incident was apparently reported to 911 just before 10 p.m. on Friday according to the audio and other social media police scanner reports. A 9:48 p.m. Facebook post on 2nd Precinct Minneapolis Crime Watch page said that University of Minnesota (U of M) police were requesting assistance from Minneapolis police (MPD) and Metro Transit police for “a group of 8-10 males chasing people with hammers” and that some people were injured. A Facebook post a minute later on Minneapolis Scanner page said that the three police departments were responding to “multiple [911] calls” about “10-12 Somali teen males armed with hammers chasing people,” also with “several injuries reported.” Both Facebook pages regularly post summaries of police scanner audio.

A person who claimed on social media to have been at the station when the incident occurred said that the group of males had “hammers and bars,” and that they seemed to be “attacking anyone who looked like they had money or were white.” The witness, who said he isn’t white, said he didn’t want to “[take] on a bunch of dudes with blunt objects,” and that he “hurried an older white lady away” and they walked a few blocks to catch a bus.

On Wednesday there was an attempted robbery at the same location during which two U of M students were injured, according to a media report. It’s unknown whether these incidents are related.

The East Bank LRT station is part of the Green Line operated by Metro Transit and is located on the 500 block of Washington Avenue Southeast in the center of the University of Minnesota campus and across the street from the U of M police department. The stop is popular with students and people attending U of M sporting events.

We reached out to the U of M Police Department, the MPD and to Metro Transit police for comment on this incident and did not receive a response prior to publication.

Somehow the Minneapolis Star Tribune has failed to report this incident.

The article at Power Line Blog further comments:

According to the Pioneer Press, police stopped seven teenage boys: “Two males who were carrying metal pipes were identified through video surveillance and witness descriptions….Police issued them citations….Police cited two males for disorderly conduct and fleeing police on foot; one was also cited for giving police a fictitious name. A police report didn’t specify their exact ages, but indicated that one is 12 or 13 and the other is 14 or 15.”

The lack of descriptive information is troubling. The juvenile status of the perpetrators protects their identities from disclosure, but if the hammer-wielding teenagers remain at large, the rest of us would like to be on guard. I would advise avoidance of the University of Minnesota’s East Bank light rail station after dark.

I think I would like a better description of the teenagers.

Following The Money On Renewable Energy

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article yesterday about the cost of the a green energy proposal in Minnesota. The article illustrates what will happen if this sort of program is attempted on a national scale.

The article reports:

Today Center of the American Experiment released a groundbreaking paper that addresses a relatively mild “green” proposal: legislation that would raise the renewable energy standard in Minnesota from 25% to 50%. Two of my staffers have been working on the paper for months, drawing on publicly available (but rarely consulted) sources to understand what would be necessary to achieve that 50% goal, what it would cost, how it would impact the state’s economy, and what effect it would have on global temperatures.

The paper is titled “Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion.” With appendices, it runs to 75 pages. I am not aware of a similarly comprehensive analysis that has been done of any “green” proposal at either the state or the federal level. The paper is fully transparent: all assumptions, data and calculations are clearly set forth. The appendices are largely spread sheets. If anyone disagrees with the report’s conclusions, it should be easy to identify where and why those disagreements arise. You can read the paper here.

The article cites a few highlights from the report:

* Building and maintaining “green” wind and solar facilities, along with transmission lines and necessary natural gas complementary plants (to provide electricity when the wind isn’t blowing, i.e. 60% of the time), would cost $80.2 billion through 2050. For a state like Minnesota, that number is out of the question.

* Every household in Minnesota would pay an average of $1,200 per year, in 2016 dollars, through higher electricity rates and otherwise.

* Electricity prices would rise by 40.2%.

* Electricity-intensive industries like mining, agriculture, manufacturing and health care would be hurt the most. Once again, urban greenies are hammering rural, and physically productive, America. [That last is my commentary, not found in the executive summary.]

* Higher electricity prices are a dead loss that will reduce spending in other areas as household budgets are squeezed. Therefore, according to economist John Phelan, using the generally accepted IMPLAN software, achieving the 50% renewable goal would cost Minnesota 21,000 permanent jobs, and reduce the state’s GDP by $3.1 billion annually. It is one small step on the road to Venezuela.

This really does not sound like a good idea. The push for green energy has always been about government power–whether at the state or federal level. It is interesting that the political left has chosen to attack fossil fuels just at the time when America has achieved energy independence because of fossil fuels and fossil fuels are driving our economic success. Economic success is the enemy of those who espouse socialism–if people are become prosperous, why would they want something different?

This Didn’t Happen In A Vacuum

There is a bit of a dust up right now within the Democrat Party as to how to handle some recent anti-Semitic remarks by Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Unfortunately this is not the first time in this Congress that anti-Semitic remarks have been made. The difference is that some of the new Congressmen are not willing to condemn those remarks. Speaker Pelosi., with her eye on retaining Democrat control of the House of Representatives, is in the difficult position of harnessing the energy of the new Representatives while not alienating Jewish voters who generally support Democrats. But we need to take a look at where we are and how we got here.

Ilhan Oman represents the 5th Distict in Minnesota, which includes Minneapolis.

On March 5th, PJ Media reported the following about Minneapolis:

Which brings us to Little Mogadishu, in the city soon to be formerly known as Minneapolis, where the good people of Minnesota — of Scandinavian, German, and Irish stock —  have been busily importing people from perhaps the most culturally alien region of the world, Muslim East Africa, whose charming natives are unlikely to follow the traditional immigrant path outlined above. In Charles Dickens’s masterpiece, Bleak House, Mrs. Jellyby ignores her own brood while busily organizing aid to Africa; today’s Mrs. Jellybys have instead have brought East Africa to them.

…A group of Somali volunteers including Abdirahman Mukhtar, left, and Abdullahi Farah gave out pizza and tea to young people from a stand Friday in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.The men hope by connecting with youth and engaging them in conversation they can combat the shootings that have recently plagued the neighborhood. After the  latest spasm of gang violence, Minneapolis’ Somali residents and business owners on Monday stepped up their calls for help from City Hall and police headquarters to help curb the senseless shootings that they say too often go overlooked. On Friday alone, five men of Somali descent were shot in separate attacks, one fatally.

The Somali immigration is largely the result of United Nations policies.

This is the district Ilham Oman represents. The Somali population has not assimilated. It has brought Somalia with it. She represents the views of the people who live in her district.

Representative Rashida Tlaib, another freshman in the House of Representatives, has come out in support of Representative Oman. Representative Tlaib represents Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. The district includes parts of Detroit and surrounding areas. The district is largely Muslim.

So how did Michigan become a Muslim enclave in America?

Michigan radio posted an article in 2014 that explains the Michigan demographic.

There’s a legend in the local Yemeni community that Henry Ford once met a Yemeni sailor at port, and told him about auto factory jobs that paid five dollars a day. The sailor spread the word, leading to chain migration from Yemen and other parts of the Middle East.

We don’t know if that chance encounter ever really happened.  But we do know that in the early days, Ford was more willing to hire Arabs than some other immigrants—or African-Americans.

And they did seem to follow Ford. A new Arab community, one that now included many Muslims sprung up around his first factory in Highland Park. In fact, the first purpose-built mosque in the US was located in Highland Park.

But that community only lasted for a few years.

“As Henry Ford then moved, and opened a new factory, the Rouge plant, in Dearborn, the Arab Americans followed him there,” Stiffler says.

Plenty of Arab Americans worked outside the auto industry, though. As Detroit’s population boomed, so did a need for grocery stores. In the 1920s, Arab Americans ran hundreds of them.

Stiffler says that created an enduring—and visible—commercial legacy.

The two main Representatives that have come out in support of Representative Oman are Representative Tlaib and Representative Ocasio-Cortez. Note that all three are freshmen in Congress and may not yet be aware of some of what goes on behind the scenes. I suspect a lot of Democrat campaign money comes from the Jewish community and Speaker Pelosi may be trying to keep that money coming while keeping younger voters in the Democrat party.

While the Democrats squabble about what to say about anti-Semitism in their party, Representative Oman sits of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. That, at least, needs to change.

The Problem With Global Warming

Power Line Blog is one of my favorite blogs. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

Power Line is an American political blog, founded in May 2002. Its posts were originally written by three lawyers who attended Dartmouth College together: John H. Hinderaker, Scott W. Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff. The site is published by Publir, founded by Joseph Malchow, also a Dartmouth graduate.

The site gained recognition among the American right for its role in covering the Killian documents story that aired during the 2004 Presidential campaign about forged documents relating to President George W. Bush’s term of service in the Texas Air National Guard, which kept him out of the Vietnam war.

In 2004, Power Line was named Time magazine‘s first-ever “Blog of the Year.”[ When AOL added blogs to their news website in 2007, Power Line was one of the five blogs included. A 2007 memo from the National Republican Senatorial Committee described Power Line as one of the five best-read national conservative blogs.

The major writers for Power Line Blog are Steven F. Hayward, John H. Hinderaker, Scott W. Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff. Susan Vass, writing under the name “Ammo Grrrll,” contributes a humor column to the site each Friday. John Hinderaker lives in Minnesota and has written extensively about the new Congresswomen from Minnesota.

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article about the current weather in Minnesota.

The article reports:

I wrote here about the epic winter we are having in Minnesota, hard on the heels of “expert” testimony in Minnesota’s legislature to the effect that we don’t get much snow anymore because of global warming–false, snowfall has been increasing, not decreasing–and temperatures in Duluth are no longer expected to dip below 10 degrees. Less than two weeks after that testimony was given, the winter turned brutal and the temperature in Duluth fell to 25 below zero. The Al Gore Effect lives!

Meanwhile, here in the Twin Cities, the snow continued to fall. We have already smashed the record for snowfall in February by six or seven inches, and as I type this, there is a blizzard warning in effect for tonight. This was the view out my bedroom window this morning; some of these icicles are more than six feet long:

The article concludes:

Memo to the alarmists who warned us that children will grow up, no longer experiencing snow: not to worry.

Of course, all of this is just “weather,” as the alarmists tell us. But climate is experienced as weather, and the alarmists have made countless predictions about weather, pretty much all of which have turned out to be false. A model that generates false predictions has the same value as a losing lottery ticket. So I guess we should be happy that a blizzard is on the way.

I guess the people in Minnesota would welcome global warming.

Charts Tell The Story

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about the impact the economic policies of President Trump have had on the State of Minnesota. The focus of the article is the economic impact of the tax cuts.

The article includes the two following graphs:

The article also includes the following news from the Labor Department:

American wages unexpectedly…

Unexpectedly!

…climbed in August by the most since the recession ended in 2009 and hiring rose by more than forecast, keeping the Federal Reserve on track to lift interest rates this month and making another hike in December more likely.
Average hourly earnings for private workers increased 2.9 percent from a year earlier, a Labor Department report showed Friday, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey and the median projection for 2.7 percent. Nonfarm payrolls rose 201,000 from the prior month, topping the median forecast for 190,000 jobs.

As I have previously stated, why is good economic news unexpected during a Republican administration and expected by the media during a Democrat administration?

The conclusion of the article reminds us what will happen in the Democrats take control of Congress:

A Democratic Congress never would have passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In fact, not a single Democrat voted for it. And Hillary Clinton never would have signed it. The progress the U.S. economy has made since Donald Trump took the helm from the hapless Barack Obama is an ongoing rebuke to the Democrats’ anti-growth policies. This is one reason the Democrats are so anxious to regain control over the House in November. With the House in Democrat hands, they won’t be able to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but they will be able to guarantee that no more pro-growth, pro-worker legislation will be enacted. They will focus on impeaching President Trump instead.

If you don’t like the current economic growth, vote Democrat and it will stop.

This Is Not According To The U.S. Constitution

On Tuesday, PJ Media posted an article about a Pastor who was arrested at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Ramin Parsa is a Christian pastor who fled Iran as a religious refugee.

The article reports:

Parsa, a pastor at Redemptive Love Ministries International in Los Angeles, Calif., traveled to Minnesota for two days to visit two different churches. He went to the Mall of America (MOA) on Saturday, August 25, with an elder from one of the churches, and with the elder’s 14-year-old son. Shortly after entering the mall, he struck up a conversation with two Somali-American women.

“Our conversation was casual. At first, we were not talking about the gospel,” Parsa recalled. “They asked me, ‘Are you a Muslim?’ I said, ‘No, I used to be a Muslim and I’m a Christian now.’ I was telling them the story of how I converted.”

A passerby could not stand the discussion, however. “Another lady told the guard, ‘This guy is harassing us!'” MOA security came and told Parsa to stop soliciting. “I said, ‘We’re not soliciting.’ But we just left,” the pastor explained.

The pastor and his friends went into a coffee shop, bought a latte, and came out. Parsa told PJ Media he thought that would be the end of it. He was sorely mistaken.

“When we came out of the coffee shop, three guards were waiting for us, and they arrested me right there,” the pastor recalled. “They came after me and arrested me, and said, ‘You cannot talk religion here.'”

Parsa told security he was a pastor. “They told me, ‘We arrested pastors before,'” he recalled, still shocked by the answer. “It was something normal for them, they were used to it.”

Meanwhile, the two Somali-American women who wanted to hear the pastor’s story argued with the woman who reported him to security. They defended Parsa. Onlookers asked why the man was being arrested. “They said, ‘Because he’s a Christian,'” Parsa told PJ Media.

That is not supposed to happen in America.

He was held at the Mall by security until the police came. During that time he was denied water and trips to the bathroom.

The article continues:

After nearly four hours, the police arrived.

“The police came to open my handcuffs, and the handcuffs were very tight. It was hurting my hands,” Parsa recalled. “The guard said, ‘I don’t think it hurts that much.'”

He suggested that the security guards treated him with special malice because he is a pastor. “I believe they treated me worse,” he insisted.

The Mall of America did not respond to PJ Media’s request for comment.

After the police took the pastor’s mugshot and fingerprints, they charged him with criminal trespassing. He paid $78 to bail himself out, and his friends picked him up at 2 a.m. While that bail amount may seem low, the pastor insisted, “Every cent is too much for something I haven’t done.”

“I’ve gone through this before — in Muslim countries I was arrested for passing out bibles,” Parsa said. “I didn’t expect that would happen in America. As a citizen in America, I have rights. They denied my basic rights.”

The article concludes:

While Parsa lives in California, he will have to appear in a Minnesota court to face the charges. He told PJ Media, “We just consulted with a lawyer — we’re going to fight this, to drop the charges.”

If the pastor can confirm his story, it seems the Mall of America may end up facing charges.

This is not the first time Christians have been arrested in America for sharing The Gospel with Muslims. In 2012, a group of Christians was arrested for preaching outside an Arab festival in Dearborn, Michigan (article here). The Islamic religion does not recognize free speech as a right. We need to make sure that Muslims who settle here understand that free speech is a right in America and will be protected. The arrest of the Pastor at the Mall of America is a disgrace to America. I hope the Pastor sues the Mall for damages and uses the money to build a beautiful church!

 

Failing To Learn The Lessons Of History

In October 2002, Paul Wellstone was killed in a plane crash while running for office in Minnesota. A Memorial Service was held in October 2002.

In Its reporting on the Memorial Service Time Magazine asked the question:

Did the memorial service for Paul Wellstone cost Democrats the election?

The Memorial Service was a Democrat pep rally that disgusted many of the people who watched it.

According to a CNN article posted at the time:

Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, was booed Tuesday night when he entered Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota for the service. Scattered boos also greeted independent Gov. Jesse Ventura, who Wednesday lashed out at Democrats for what he called a “political rally.”

Unfortunately, we are seeing a similar phenomena with the media’s handling of the death of John McCain. John McCain was an American hero–he stayed in Hanoi with his men after being given the chance to come home. He was tortured. He showed courage. Fine. We can celebrate that aspect of his life. Let’s not forget, however, that he betrayed the voters of Arizona who re-elected him to repeal ObamaCare after he promised to do so, but he refused to vote to repeal ObamaCare because of his dislike for President Trump. Let’s remember what the Democrats who are so lavishly praising him right now said about him when he ran against Barack Obama in 2008. This funeral has turned into pure political theater.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about John McCain’s funeral. The headline of the article is:

“HOW AWFUL! Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Look Sick As Elites Pile on Their Father at McCain Funeral”

Ivanka and Jared attended the funeral to pay their respects. They behaved like the lady and gentleman they are. It is a shame that they had to sit there and listen to political garbage from people who have been running Washington for years and accomplished very little.

The Wellstone Memorial backfired on those who politicized it. I wonder if the McCain funeral will have the same effect. There has been so much of John McCain on television since his death, it is beginning to look like “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

A Resettlement Program Gone Awry

Yesterday Scott Johnson (one of the regular writers at Power Line Blog) posted an article at The City Journal website. The article was related to some recent events involving large amounts of cash flowing from Minnesota to Somalia.

The article reports:

When it was noted that the carry-on bags of multiple airline passengers traveling from Minneapolis to Somalia contained millions of dollars in cash, on a regular basis, law enforcement was naturally curious to know where the money came from and where it was going. It soon emerged that millions of taxpayer dollars, and possibly much more, had been stolen through a massive scam of Minnesota’s social-services sector, specifically through fraudulent daycare claims. To make matters worse, the money appears to have wound up in areas of Somalia controlled by al-Shabab, the Islamic jihadist group responsible for numerous terrorist outrages.

The article goes on to explain that beginning in the 1990’s, the State Department began sending refugees from the Somalia civil war to be resettled in Minnesota. Minnesota now has the largest population of Somalis outside of Somalia.

The article reports:

As the Washington Times noted in 2015, in Minnesota, these refugees “can take advantage of some of America’s most generous welfare and charity programs.” Professor Ahmed Samatar of Macalester College in St. Paul observed, “Minnesota is exceptional in so many ways but it’s the closest thing in the United States to a true social democratic state.” A high-trust, traditionally homogenous community with a deep civil society marked by thrift, industriousness, and openness, Minnesota seemed like the ideal place to locate an indigent Somali population now estimated at 100,000.

Fast forward to 2015 when the House Homeland Security Committee task force on combating terrorist and foreign-fighter travel discovered that Minnesota led the nation in contributing foreign fighters to ISIS. It gets worse. The refugees masterminded a very lucrative daycare fraud scheme that sent millions of taxpayer dollars to terrorists in Somalia.

The article cites one such example:

The case of Fozia Ali, recently sworn in as a member of the park board of an upscale Twin Cities suburb, is illustrative. Ali’s daycare center in south Minneapolis was suspected of billing the government for more than $1 million of bogus child-care services. According to Special Agent Craig Lisher, the FBI “found records that she was collecting a significant amount of money for a much larger number of children than were actually attending the center.” Ali’s case also had an international component. “We are aware that some of the funds went overseas, what she was cashing out, money from the business,” Lisher noted. He declined to specify the purpose to which the funds were put.

Ali used a phone app to register charges to the Minnesota state government while she stayed at an $800-per-night hotel in Nairobi. She pleaded guilty in March to charges of wire fraud and is serving time in federal prison. But the scam goes well beyond Ali. Though the total loss to the state’s $248 million daycare program remains to be determined, we have a serious case of deceit, obviously. But the real damage, harder to measure, is likely to be to the high-trust values of Minnesota, where newcomers can dupe the natives so easily.

These are not the sort of refugees we need.

The Cost Of ‘Free’ Energy

Green energy is a wonderful thing–the wind and the sun are free and they create electricity without pollution. If you believe that, I have a bridge in New York I would like to sell you. Some of the components in the batteries in wind and solar energy have a bigger environmental footprint than natural gas. Anyway, so far green energy has not lived up to its expectations.

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article today about the use of wind power in Minnesota. Obviously solar power in Minnesota would not work, but wind power sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately for the consumer and the environment, it wasn’t.

The article reports:

…can green energy fulfill the extravagant promises made by its backers?

The answer is a resounding No, according to a blockbuster paper by our own Steve Hayward and Center of the American Experiment’s Peter Nelson. The paper, titled “Energy Policy in Minnesota: the High Cost of Failure,” can be read or downloaded at the Center’s web site.

Minnesota is a poor place for solar power, so its renewable policies have focused on wind. Minnesota has gone whole hog for wind energy, to the tune of–the Hayward/Nelson paper reveals, for the first time–approximately $15 billion. It is noteworthy that demand for electricity in Minnesota has been flat for quite a few years, so that $15 billion wasn’t spent to meet demand. Rather, it replaced electricity that already was being produced by coal, nuclear and natural gas plants.

Wind energy is intermittent and unreliable; it can only be produced when the wind is blowing within certain parameters, and cannot be stored at scale. It is expensive and inefficient, and therefore patently inferior to nuclear, coal and natural gas-powered electricity, except in one respect–its “greenness.” That greenness consists of not emitting carbon dioxide. So, for $15 billion, Minnesota must have bought a dramatic reduction in the state’s CO2 emissions, right?

The article explains that Minnesota’s use of wind energy has reduced CO2 emissions slightly, but because the backup to wind energy is coal-fired electric plants, the reduction has not been significant. The state would have gotten better (and cheaper) results by replacing the coal plants with natural gas. The article also points out that the state’s investment in green energy has resulted in significantly higher energy costs for the residents. Considering what residents of Minnesota spend to keep their homes warm in winter, this is not good news.

The article concludes:

The sad story of Minnesota’s green energy failure is one that no doubt is being replicated around the country. And one of the ironies of green energy is that it is terrible for the environment. Both wind and solar energy require enormous amounts of land compared with conventional, reliable energy sources. Minnesota has scarred its landscape with endless acres of giant windmills and, to a lesser degree, solar panels. When those windmills begin to rust and fall still, the environmental damage will be even greater. And the green cronies who are now making millions through their political connections will be long gone.

When the government interferes in the free market, bad things happen for the consumer and the taxpayer.

The Next Economic Bubble Is Growing

Yesterday The Star Tribune posted an article about the rising number of student loan defaults.

The article reports:

A new analysis of federal student loans reveals the number of people severely behind on repaying their debt has soared in the last year, painting a bleak picture of one of the largest government programs.

The Consumer Federation of America released a study Tuesday that found that millions of people had not made a payment on $137 billion in federal student loans for at least nine months in 2016, a 14 percent increase in defaults from a year earlier. The consumer watchdog used the latest data from the Education Department, which manages $1.3 trillion in federal student debt owed by 42.4 million Americans.

 What’s striking about the findings is that Americans have a variety of repayment options to avoid default. The Obama administration expanded programs that cap monthly payments to a percentage of earnings, but even though millions of people are enrolled in those income-driven plans, there is still a disconnect.

“Despite a rising stock market and falling unemployment, student loan borrowers are still struggling,” said Rohit Chopra, a senior fellow at CFA and former student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “The economy remains very difficult for so many young people just starting out.”

In recent years, as more money has become available for college loans, the cost of college has increased at levels higher than inflation. Students have also pursued degrees in subjects that may not translate well into the marketplace. The combination has created an increasing debt with a decreasing ability of students to pay back that debt.

It’s time to let banks and other financial institutions handle student loans. Historically, banks and financial institutions loan money to people with the expectation that the money will be paid back. They are careful in their lending practices. Scholarships should be made available to worthy students who cannot qualify for loans. It is time for colleges to bring their tuition into line with the overall cost of living so that students are not taking out loans they cannot afford to pay back.

Why An Armed And Trained Civilian Population Is Important

Allen West posted a story on his website today about the stabbings that occurred in the mall at St. Cloud, Minnesota, over the weekend. There are a few details about that attack that seem to have gotten lost in the reporting.

Jason Falconer, an off-duty police officer and firearms instructor who owns a gun range, was the man who stopped the attacker. The article reports:

Falconer happened to be at the mall when the terrorist began carrying out his attack. The Sun says, Falconer opened fire as the suspect lunged towards him.

He got up and continued his terrifying assault each time he was shot until he was eventually fatally wounded.

Morning News USA reports, “His (Falconer’s) goal is to teach individuals the mindset, knowledge and skills needed to be successful with firearms in order to secure their personal safety or that of their family, at home or in public,” said Tactical Advantage, the off-duty police officer’s company website.

The  attacker was asking victims if they were Muslim before he attacked them. If the answer was no, he stabbed them. The average response time for an emergency call is 10 minutes. Atlanta has the worst response time with 11 to 12 minutes and Nashville comes in at a lightning speed of 9 minutes (according to the Women’s Self-Defense Institute).

The best defense against a random terrorism attack involving a knife, gun or other weapon is a well-trained, well-armed, ordinary law-abiding citizen. The War on Terror is moving to America; as individuals, we need to be trained, armed, and ready to fight that war.

How many lone wolves does it take to make a wolf pack?

 

Using Our Criminal Justice System Against Us

In August 2004, a car was pulled over by a Maryland Transportation Authority Police officer on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. A woman in the car was filming the bridge, and the officer observed that she was not filming the scenery, but the support structures of the bridge. The man driving the car was Ismail Elbarasse. There was sufficient evidence to get a warrant to search his home. The FBI found a sub-basement in the home that contained the archives of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America. The Muslim Brotherhood planned ‘civilization jihad’ in America–essentially they planned to infiltrate our government and use our freedoms and legal system against us. The eventual goal was to turn America into a Muslim nation with Sharia Law. That goal has not changed. (You can find a synopsis of the Holy Land Foundation Trial–the result of this investigation–at the Center for Security Policy website.) With that in mind, I bring you the following story.

On Friday, Fox News reported that a man in Minnesota charged with trying to join ISIS stated that he wanted to set up an infiltration route for ISIS members from Mexico to America’s southern border. (It’s not like coming across the southern U.S. border actually presents that much of a problem).

The article reports:

Guled Ali Omar told the ISIS members about the route so that it could be used to send members to America to carry out terrorist attacks, prosecutors alleged in a document filed this week.

The document, filed Wednesday, is one of many filed in recent weeks as prosecutors and defense attorneys argue about which evidence should be allowed at the men’s trial, which starts May 9.

The men — Omar, 21; Hamza Naj Ahmed, 21; Mohamed Abdihamid Farah, 22; and Abdirahman Yasin Daud, 22 — have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit murder outside the U.S. Prosecutors have said they were part of a group of friends in Minnesota’s Somali community who held secret meetings and plotted to join the Islamic State group.

Five other men have pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to support a foreign terrorist organization. A tenth man charged in the case is at-large, believed to be in Syria.

As I said in the opening paragraph of this article, one strategy  of the Islamists is to use our legal system against us. This is very obvious in the way this case is being handled.

The article reports:

Last week, Daud’s attorney wrote that, absent any specific evidence that his client threatened the United States, any references to discussions about attacks would be prejudicial. To permit such references, as well as references to the Sept. 11 attacks or exhibits that show violent images of war crimes, “would cause the jurors to decide out of fear and contempt alone,” defense attorney Bruce Nestor wrote.

But prosecutors said audio recordings obtained during the investigation show the defendants spoke multiple times about the possibility of attacks in the U.S. Among them, Omar spoke of establishing a route for fighters, Farah spoke of killing an FBI agent and another man who pleaded guilty talked about shooting a homemade rocket at an airplane.

Prosecutors wrote that they should be allowed to “play for the jury the defendants’ own words, in which they discuss the possibility of returning to attack the United States.” They also said the defendants watched videos and gruesome images, which they also want to play for the jury, and that a blanket ban on mentioning the 2001 attacks is inappropriate, noting that Omar had pictures of the burning World Trade Center towers and Osama bin Laden on his cellphone.

As I said, they are using our legal system against us. I need to mention here that there is not a direct link between ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, I suspect the Muslim Brotherhood is not happy with ISIS–ISIS is exposing what the Quran says about how infidels should be treated. However, both ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood have the same goal–establishing a worldwide caliphate. The differences are in how to do it and who will run it. The Muslim Brotherhood believes in civilization jihad–infiltrating the government and taking away peoples’ rights quietly without the population realizing what is being done. That is what the term ‘hate speech’ is about. Eventually ‘hate speech’ will become a term used to describe anything negative said about Muslims or Islam. That is also what the term ‘Islamophobia’ is about. There is no such thing. It is a made-up word to make people hesitate before criticizing Islam. Both words are a means of subtle intimidation aimed at undermining American’s First Amendment rights.

We are in danger of losing our country. There are a few things we need to do. First of all, we need to secure our borders so that we know who is coming in and going out of our country. Second of all, we need to put FBI informers in areas where there is a concentration of people who have historically supported terrorism (there have been a number of young men from the Somali community who have left America and joined ISIS). Third, we need to encourage (strongly) people who come to America to assimilate. Previous groups that immigrated here learned the language and became Americans. They kept aspects of their culture–that’s why we have great Italian, Chinese, Greek, etc. restaurants here–but became Americans. If you choose to live here, you need to live as an American–you may continue to follow your customs–not eating pork, not drinking, etc.–but you cannot expect to impose those customs on Americans. You have come here by choice. If you do not like our customs, please go somewhere else.

Finally, we need a President who will control our borders and take seriously his responsibility to protect Americans.

The House Of Cards Begins To Collapse

On Tuesday, the Daily Caller reported that the largest healthcare insurance company (with the lowest premiums) is dropping out of Minnesota’s ObamaCare Exchange because the government health-exchange is unsustainable.

The article reports:

PreferredOne Health Insurance told MNsure, the state-run exchange, Tuesday morning that it would not continue to offer its popular insurance plans on the marketplace in 2015. It’s “purely a business decision,” spokesman Steve Peterson told KSTP-TV. The company is losing money on administrative costs for plans offered on the bureaucratic and glitchy government exchange.

Part of the problem, according to PreferredOne, is that MNsure hasn’t even been able to verify its customers’ information. PreferredOne said that some of its customers have turned out not to even live in Minnesota.

Insurers are required to accept customers who’ve been approved by the exchange for coverage, but states and the federal government have been struggling for months to determine which applicants are actually eligible for the benefits.

Americans were told that if they liked their health insurance, they could keep it. Now people in Minnesota have lost their health insurance twice under ObamaCare and are facing large rate increases this fall. Can we please elect people to Congress who will make this monstrosity called ObamaCare go away. Enough is enough.

What Are Our Children Learning?

I have posted a few articles on Common Core and on the AP U. S. History course for high school students. There are some real questions as to what the curricula associated with these standards and programs is actually teaching, but now we have strange curriculum showing up in other areas.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article quoting Minnesota teachers on how their schools teach literature classes.

The article included the following description of how Edina High School in Edina, Minnesota teaches literature classes:

Acceptance and inter-cultural understanding can be fostered through the use of powerful texts, discussion, analysis, and exploration in the classroom. An English curriculum grounded in social justice rests on a belief based in equity—that each person should have access to resources regardless of race, gender, ability, age, socio-economic status, or sexual orientation.

Why is our educational system trying to divide Americans instead of focusing on the things we have in common that made this country great?

The article includes a comment from Woodbury High School:

At Woodbury High School, the [literature] course is primarily structured chronologically. Social, economic, cultural and political frameworks of the readings are sometimes explored explicitly through eight critical lenses: feminist, deconstruction, new criticism, new historical/biographical, reader response, post-colonial, psychological and Marxist theory. Students apply critical literary elements such as figurative language, symbolism, and motif to find author’s intent.

What about teaching them the uniqueness of the U.S. Constitution instead?

John Hinderaker sums it up:

This is mis-education, worse than not attending school at all. Any child of normal intelligence would gain more from staying up late at night and reading books with a flashlight under the covers than from being subjected to such cant. For many students, such palpable bullshit is likely to ruin literature forever.

After the Constitutional Convention in 1787, people gathered outside Independence Hall in order to learn what had been created. A website called ourrepubliconline.com reports:

A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Unless we do a better job of educating our children, we won’t be able to keep it.

Icebergs On Lake Superior

CBS Local in Minnesota posted a picture on Saturday of icebergs on Lake Superior. This is the picture.

(credit: Wis. DNR)

The article further reports:

According to a National Geographic report, the summer temperatures of the Great Lakes are expected to be colder this year because more than 90 percent of the lakes had been covered in ice during this past winter.

Global warming, anyone?

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Federal Stimulus Funds At Work

Breitbart.com posted an article today about a windmill at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The windmill was constructed with $2.3 million in federal stimulus funds and has been “inoperable” for one and half years.

The article reports:

In the December 2009 buildup to the allotment of stimulus money for the construction of the St. Cloud turbine, an “administration document” outlined how “agencies… throughout the federal government… [were] already leading by example toward building a clean energy economy.” 

Three and a half years later, St. Cloud-based VA public affairs officer Barry Venable said, “The St. Cloud VA is a hospital, and our focus in on [the] patients and we like to think we treat them our veterans very well here. We are embarrassed that this turbine does not operate as advertised.”

The article also notes that no one has even attempted to fix the windmill.

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Flawed Logic Coming From The White House

Today’s Washington Examiner is quoting President Obama as stating that the stimulus “actually worked, despite what everybody claimed.”

The article reports:

Speaking from the Union Depot in St. Paul, Minn., the president cited the station, which had been refurbished and improved thanks to TIGER grants from the stimulus, as an example of successful spending to improve infrastructure and create jobs.

I am glad that Union Depot was refurbished, but I do have a basic problem with the President’s logic.

Yesterday the Heritage Foundation posted an article examining the actual impact of the 2009 stimulus package. The article explains the flawed logic in the claims that the stimulus package of 2009 actually improved the American economy.

The article at Heritage Foundation reports:

cbostimulus1cbostimulus2

President Obama is now stating that since the first stimulus was a success, we should have another one.

The article at the Washington Examiner states:

The president said his own forthcoming budget proposal would request over $300 billion in new infrastructure spending.

“While Congress decides what it’s going to do, I’m going to do what I can to create more good jobs,” Obama added.

The president warned that if Congress failed to pass transportation funding by the end of the summer, projects across the country would grind to a halt, costing workers their jobs.

The American workforce as a percentage of American workers is at an all time low. Unemployment has dropped because people who are no longer seeking employment are not counted in the statistics. Our true unemployment number is probably above 9 percent. I think the policies of President Obama have cost enough Americans their jobs despite his claims to the contrary. I hope Congress will stand up to the President and demand at least some degree of fiscal responsibility.

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Things That Make You Appreciate The Country We Live In

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story about Shezanne Cassim, a young man from Minnesota who has lived and worked in Dubai for the past seven years. He works for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. Cassim is currently in a maximum security prison in Dubia. His crime–making a YouTube video that mocked Dubai teenagers. Admittedly, it is bad manners to mock your host country, but putting people in maximum security prison for satire seems a little extreme. Mr. Cassim and four other men will be serving a one-year prison term for their offense. The video is posted at Hot Air. Follow the link above to view it.

The article reports:

It’s easy to joke about this, but it’s no joke to Cassim and his family. It’s outrageous of Dubai to have locked up Cassim for even a day, let alone for eight months — and adding another year in maximum security is absurd. Dubai and UAE want to position themselves as a modern, cosmopolitan oasis in the Middle East, but this suggests that they’re just another oppressive totalitarian state with enough money to buy good PR. The US should have demanded his release months ago, and his continued incarceration should be a high-profile story for anyone who cares about even rudimentary freedoms, such as the freedom to laugh.

The Cassim family spoke to CNN this morning in an attempt to raise Shezanne’s profile here in the US:

This story should be shouted from the rooftops in America. Why isn’t this story on the front page of all of our major newspapers? Where is our government? Do we have any international clout at all these days?

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Proposed Minnesota Law Proposes Gun Confiscation

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story yesterday about a proposed law in the Minnesota legislature that does call for confiscation of guns.

The article reports:

H.F. 241 relates to “assault weapons.” It defines “assault weapons” in more or less the usual way; I haven’t compared it line by line to Dianne Feinstein’s federal legislation, but the definition is similar if not identical. “Assault weapons” include all semiautomatic rifles that have a pistol grip or a hole in the stock through which you can put your thumb; any “protruding grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand;” a folding or telescopic stock; or a barrel shroud. So, what is it about a hole in the stock, a “protruding grip,” a folding stock and so on that explains why such weapons should be singled out for banning by the state? Nothing. These features have nothing to do with lethality and bear no rational relation to any legitimate governmental purpose.

…Under the Democrats’ legislation, no one can buy or possess an “assault weapon” in Minnesota. If you already own one as of February 1, you can keep it. But you have to register it, and give the state permission to inspect your home–which is the only place you can keep the “assault weapon”–to make sure you are storing it properly, and undergo annual background checks. You can’t sell the firearm or give it away, and when you die, your heirs are required to either destroy it or “surrender the weapon to a law enforcement agency for destruction.” So the statute represents a ban, followed by confiscation.

President Obama will be in Minnesota today supposedly to support this proposal. As I have said before, I am not personally a gun owner, although many members of my family are; however, I support the right of people to own guns, and I worry when the government talks about taking them away–for any reason.

This law (although hopefully it has no chance of passing) is frightening. It is frightening because the legislators think they can bring it up without fear of being voted out of office. The musket was the assault weapon of its day, and it was not banned in the Constitution. I think the founding fathers knew what they were doing.

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The Truth About Oil And Gas Production In America

Yesterday John HInderaker posted an article at Power LIne about President Obama’s claim that he has increased oil and gas production in America during his term as President.

This chart says it all:

The chart makes very clear that private lands have increased their production of oil and natural gas and public lands have not. Please follow the link above to the article. The article provides a time line of what the Obama Administration has done to limit oil and gas production on federal land.

The article concludes:

…A week ago I was talking with a Republican Congressman from Minnesota who described an encounter with President Obama, in which he tried to explain to Obama that FDA regulations are devastating the medical device industry, of which Minnesota is a major center. After the Congressman had explained the problem, Obama put his hand on his shoulder and said, “There isn’t really much I can do about that. The FDA is an independent agency, you know.”

The Congressman described this as an instance of Obama’s “cluelessness,” but I think he gave the president too much credit. Obama knew perfectly well what the consequences of staffing the federal alphabet-soup agencies with hard-line left-wingers would be. He tries, now, to distance himself from the terrible consequences of his own appointees’ actions, but he is fully responsible for them. The Obama administration has gone out of its way to make you poorer. Anyone who votes to re-elect the president deserves another four years of misery.

We need to pay attention–this matters.

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The Day Of Santorum

The Daily Caller reports today on the victories yesterday by Rick Santorum in the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and the non-binding primary in Missouri.

The article lists the numbers:

Returns from 83 percent of Minnesota’s precincts showed Santorum with 45 percent support, Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 27 percent and Romney — who won the state in his first try for the nomination four years ago — with 17 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich trailed with 11 percent.

It was closer in Colorado, where returns from all the precincts showed Santorum with 40 percent of the vote to 35 for Romney. Gingrich had 13, and Paul claimed 12 percent.

The results of yesterday’s caucuses are interesting for a variety of reasons. Santorum is the only ‘non-Romney’ who is still a viable candidate. He is not a perfect candidate (neither party has one of those), but it will be hard to find any significant ‘dirt’ on him. He is squeaky clean and although he has not always voted perfectly in line with the Tea Party, he is pretty close. But I think there is another reason for his success yesterday. When the Obama Administration declared war on the Catholic Church last week (courtesy of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius), I don’t think the President understood what the reaction of the Church and average Americans would be. Many non-churched Americans were offended by the ruling that Church organizations had to go against their religious convictions in providing healthcare services. Government (state) regulations have already driven the Catholic adoption services out of Massachusetts and several other states because of rulings that did not allow the agencies to follow their religious convictions. As abortion becomes less popular (as of May 2009 51% of Americans were pro-life and 42% were pro-choice), government funding of abortion (which is part of Obamacare) will be less popular. I think Rick Santorum has benefitted by Americans waking up and seeing what the Obama Administration is bringing us and deciding that he is the best candidate to undo the damage and stop what is happening.

Rick Santorum is not the perfect candidate (neither is anyone else), but he is consistent in what he believes and what you see is what you get. I find that refreshing. He has also avoided the nasty negative attacks that some of the other candidates have engaged in.

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Do You Want Your Child Care Providers Unionized ?

Hot Air reported recently that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has issued an executive order that calls for a vote to unionize child care providers. However, the only people who will be able to vote on the unionization are those providers that are state-licensed and state-subsidized. Not all providers are eligible to vote on the measure. However, if the vote is to unionize, all providers will quite likely have to join the union and pay union dues. Somehow, that seems like taxation without representation–they don’t get to vote on it, but they have to pay for it!

The article at Hot Air reports:

A well-documented detrimental product of unionization is less flexibility. Union contracts do not allow for flexibility (without lavish benefits). Families have ever-changing schedules that will conflict with union contracts. A likely outcome: an increase of unfair labor practices. Unfair labor practices will lead to increased litigation, escalating child care costs.

A number of families can only afford child care through subsides awarded by the state. Gov. Dayton’s E.O. not only restricts availability of child care to families in need, it forces the taxpayer to bear the added expenses from unionized child care.

If Minnesota’s desired outcome is to provide affordable child care, Gov. Dayton must rescind his executive order. Unionization requires forced dues payment, loss of worker rights, and restricts entry into markets. Reducing providers and making child care a less attractive industry for potential entrepreneurs are steps in the wrong direction. Maintaining worker rights and freedom to choose will afford Minnesotans ample quality child care. Unfortunately, Gov. Dayton’s choice will deny widespread access to affordable child care in Minnesota in order to line the pockets of Big Labor.

That pretty much sums it up. Paying back the unions at the voters expense tends to discourage private enterprise and slow the economy. It is where we are nationally right now. Governor Dayton will create more financial problems for families in his state with this executive order.

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Using Our Courts To Support Terrorism

Yesterday Scott Johnson at Power Line posted a story about a trial that is currently going on in Minnesota.

The article reports:

We have been following the terror trial involving the two Minnesota Somali women who were raising money for Al-Shabab in Rochester, Minnesota. The case against them was submitted to the jury late yesterday in federal district court in Minneapolis.

I don’t think I have seen a lot about this trial reported in the major media. Reporter Allie Shah at the Star Tribune has stated, “if the Somali women are not acquitted, Somalis in Minnesota and elsewhere will think ill of us.” Wow. If they are guilty, it doesn’t matter, we just want to make sure they like us.

The article concludes:

The ringleader and her codefendant stand accused of providing material support to a designated terrorist organization, Al-Shabab, an al Qaeda affiliate. The ringleader has a helluva defense. She wasn’t supporting Al-Shabab or terrorism, she was supporting Islam! Any resemblance to the crimes charged is just a coincidence, or something.

Just as tithing is a part of Biblical Christianity, “Zakat” is a part of Islam. There is a difference, however. When the defendant stated that she was simply supporting Islam, she was correct. The Zakat is supposed to support the spread of Islam. She was simply following the dictates of Islam (Zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam).

It will be interesting to see how this case turns out. Under Sharia Law, the women are innocent. Under American Law, the women are guilty. It will be interesting to see which legal system prevails.

Something To Think About As We Approach 2012

Photo portrait of John F. Kennedy, President o...

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about voter fraud. Mr. Hinderaker lives in Minnesota, so the focus of the article is on voter fraud in Minnesota, but there are some interesting generic points in the article.

A group called Minnesota Majority has done some research on voter fraud in Minnesota. The group reports:

The report finds that 113 individuals who voted illegally in the 2008 election have been convicted of the crime, “ineligible voter knowingly votes” under Minnesota Statute 201.014.

The article at Minnesota Majority also reported:

Minnesota’s recent charges and convictions stem from research initiated by Minnesota Majority. The research identified upwards of 2,800 ineligible felons believed to have unlawfully voted in Minnesota’s 2008 general election.

“These convictions are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Davis. “The actual number of illegal votes cast was in the thousands. Most unlawful voters were never charged with a crime because they simply pled ignorance. We have evidence of these people casting illegal ballots, but in Minnesota, ignorance of election law is considered to be an acceptable defense.”

I don’t think that number of illegal votes mattered in 2008, but if 2012 is a close election, that number of illegal votes in some states could make a difference in the outcome of the election. Those of us over the age of 60 remember that there were some serious questions about the validity of John Kennedy’s victory in the 1960 presidential election. Richard Nixon chose not to litigate the election, although he certainly could have. The difference in the 1960 election was the city of Chicago. Somehow that city provided the right amount of votes for Kennedy to win. Hmmm.

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Closing Down A Government-Funded Religious School

Scott Johnson at Power Line reported today on the closing down of the Tarek ibn Ziyad (TiZA) Academy K-8 public charter school in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota. The school was originally sponsored by Islamic Relief USA.

According to the article:

The school was housed in a building that was owned by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota. The study of Arabic was required at the school. The Arabic came in handy for the Koranic studies that follow the regular school day.

Star Tribune reporter Katherine Kersten charged that the school was a religious school operating with public funds. After her columns were published, the Minnesota American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) investigated and sued the school and the Minnesota Department of Education.

The article further reports:

As a result of its failure to find a sponsor as required by state law, TiZA failed to open this fall. The ACLU’s case against TiZA nevertheless remains. Despite the blasé media reports on the settlements with the Department of Education and Islamic Relief USA, the ACLU Minnesota obviously obtained some highly interesting evidence in the case. The “stipulation of facts” underlying the settlement has now been approved by the court and unsealed. The ACLU Minnesota has posted relevant documents here.

Thanks to the work of Katherine Kersten, the Star Tribune has owned this story. Yet it cannot have been a pleasant experience for her to have worked on the story while inside an organization that would sooner have served as TiZA’s public relations arm than investigator or whistleblower. In its pathetic editorial postmortem on TiZA, the Star Tribune jumped straight to the ACLU lawsuit without including in its chronology the fact that one of its own writers broke the story. By contrast, the ACLU Minnesota acknowledged Kersten’s role in uncovering the scandal from the outset of the lawsuit. Wouldn’t a genuine newspaper want to tout its key role in the events? Why is this story different from any other story?

Please follow the link to Power Line to read the entire story. There were problems with the school from the start. When the case was finally brought by the ACLU, the school charged anti-Muslim bigotry in an attempt to intimidate the investigators. The article points out that one of the weapons used by the Muslims when they are challenged to obey American laws is to charge bigotry against Muslims. The laws of America should apply to all of us equally, and they should be enforced equally. We need to remember that when dealing with any group that is looking for special privileges.

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