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Barry for Change

There’s a new Barry on the political stage, this one offering a change I can believe in:

My name is Barry Hickethier, and I am seeking to earn your support for Minnesota State Senate, District 59. I am running because, like so many people I have talked with, I have become frustrated with the current state of government. A government that is more beholden than ever to special interest, while becoming less responsive to the needs of the average citizen. A government which is inserting itself more and more into our personal lives, and which is eroding our personal freedom.


Pharaoh -> Caesar -> Obama -> Pawlenty -> Rybak

Arnold Kling goes Old Testament:

Pharoah created jobs for us. Moses led us away from those jobs. Even though those jobs helped to complete public infrastructure. Even though they were green jobs, where we used our muscles and our backs instead of fossil fuels.

Moses could have been part of the ruling class in Egypt. He chose freedom instead. Those of us who followed Moses also chose freedom. Freedom brings risks. But we preferred the risks of freedom to the security of bondage.

Do not confuse government with G-d. Government cannot miraculously provide us with manna--or health care. When we look at government, we should not see G-d. We should see Pharoah. Government-worship is Pharoah-worship.


Best of Luck, Chester

Minnesota Vikings running back Chester Taylor has signed a four-year deal with the Chicago Bears. Taylor struck me as an ideal all-around back. He may not have any single superstar skill, but he can run, catch and block effectively in any situation. As I’ve said hundreds of times as everyone else seemed obsessed with Adrian Peterson, there’s nothing wrong with Chester Taylor.

I wish him the best, and hope he earns the starting job with the Bears. From the StarTribune story, the Vikings wanted to keep him, but the Bears were willing to pay millions more. There is apparently no ill will on either side.


Football Special

As a service to local sports fans, the NRR offers an excursion analyzing the Minnesota Vikings loss to the New Orleans Saints:

The fumbles were infuriating, but they weren't the reason the Vikes lost. They were the reason the Vikes didn't win by 17.

The Saints played on a short field all game, and the Vikings fumbled away points. Favre played tough, and his last INT was set up by mistakes not made by him:


MN Supremes O.K. Punishing the Innocent

This ludicrous ruling turns our legal custom upside down:

If two Minnesotans own something together, and one of them commits a crime that causes that property to be seized, the innocent co-owner is not entitled to get it back, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled this week.

The case inolved a wife who was driving drunk. The husband argued that their vehicle should remain in his possession.

"The idea that someone who is completely, utterly innocent -- and the state never disputed that Mr. Laase was innocent -- can have their property taken away by the government is a scary thing," Karalus said.


Let’s Toast to His Memory

One of Iowa’s greatest sons has died. Usually we raise a glass in memory, but in this case, it seems more appropriate to toast with bread.

Norman Borlaug, the man who saved more human lives than anyone else in history, has died at age 95. Borlaug was the Father of the Green Revolution, the dramatic improvement in agricultural productivity that swept the globe in the 1960s.


President Bachmann

Those with a taste for venom should keep an eye on the lefty blogosphere. There will be spittled spewed over this:

Finally, WND asked [Michelle] Bachmann if she could see a day when the candidate who began her political career in jeans and a holey sweatshirt would one day run for the presidency.

"If I felt that's what the Lord was calling me to do, I would do it," she answered. "When I have sensed that the Lord is calling me to do something, I've said yes to it. But I will not seek a higher office if God is not calling me to do it. That's really my standard.


Tomorrow It’s All Yours

Cost of Government Day (COGD) is the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state and local levels.

Cost of Government Day for 2009 is August 12. On average, working people must toil 224 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government. In other words, the cost of government consumes 61.34 percent of national income.

If you had given the government everything you earned from January 1st through today, you could keep every nickel until the end of the year.


Franken Wins*

When Congress next week gets back its business of looting and pillaging, Al Franken will join the world’s most exclusive club. Norm Coleman’s recount appeal was denied by the Minnesota Supreme court:


Joe the Patriot

Our man, Joe the Plumber, is appearing at tea party events today. Setting aside the semantics—the Signers of the Declaration were rebels, not patriots—Wurzelbacher honors their legacy:

Joe the Plumber said the best advice he can give to citizens who are frustrated with intrusive government is to stop voting along party lines and begin electing leaders who will abide by the nation's founding document.


Another Side to Offshoring

Every trade has at least two sides. That’s a fact often forgotten in discussions of outsourcing, off-shoring, and their effects on local economies. The urge to “buy American” or “buy local” often means “pay more” or “get less value”.

Jingoistic and xenophobic claims about the importance of who we trade with steer decision-making away from the economics of finding the best for the lowest cost. Trade and commerce become untethered from the quest to increase productivity and wealth. We no longer engage in trade to make our economic lives better, but to make our emotional lives easier.


Two Points Missed

1) Re: Guantanamo Terrorist Transfers

The media chatter seems focused on the inconveniences and perceived threats to US communities should the detainees be transferred to US prisons. No, they’re not going to escape and become some kind of TV action series bad guy fugitives. And, no, they’re not going to be able to command terrorist activities from within SuperMax confinement. As prisoners, they would represent no credible threat.

If they were brought onto US territory, however, their legal status changes. They would get the full benefit of legal rights and due process. And since they’re being held without charge and on sketchy evidence, US law would compel their release.


Hope in a Teapot

I was at last month’s local Tea Party on the Capitol lawn. By now, most have probably settled on believing the media’s truth of the day’s events. What I saw was not that story.

The crowd numbered in the thousands. They weren’t mad about taxes. Or, not just about taxes. Most of the signs seemed to reference big government and big government debt.

And the crowd was civil. Disappointingly so. I wanted pitchforks.

Thanks to technology and the internet, the truth is available, should this day become recognized as the start of anything Important. I don’t have much to add.


Granting Rights Imposes Duties

As the Minnesota Senate race is moving from the recount phase to the lawsuit phase, hearts are bleeding:

After the counting, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said he was satisfied that the recount results were as accurate as they could be, given human limitations, the scope of state law and Supreme Court directives.


A Bit Less Stupid

I maintain humans do not have an energy problem. The energy used by all of humanity is only about 1/10000 of the solar energy hitting the planet. There is no shortage of power. What we have is a technology problem: How do we capture more and/or increase efficiency?


Mayor Pot Chastises Governor Kettle

One of the prerequisite talents for elected office is maintaining a straight face when telling jokes like this:


A Right to Infantile Outbursts

Americans have long had the right to put their candidates and their ideas to a vote. Now there seems to be a sense that your rights have been trampled on if you don't win.

That’s Thomas Sowell, in a reaction to the backlash after California rejected gay marriage.


You Can Play Election Judge

Minnesota Public Radio has posted images of challenged ballots in the State’s Senate election. Listed with each picture is an explanation of who challenged, and why. Each also has a poll question where you can weigh on on how you would judge the voter’s intent.



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