Archive for the ‘Minnesota’ tag
The politicians in Minnesota always prioritize the important issues. While this fine state is facing several minor issues such as skyrocketing health insurance costs, stupidly high taxes, and the idiocy of the medical cannabis law that was written in a way that ensures the continuation of the drug war there is a very sinister issue facing us: senators can’t drink water on the floor:
Early in the upcoming legislative session, the Minnesota Senate will again take up an issue sure to spark debate and division among its members: whether to allow senators to drink water while on the Senate floor.
The upper chamber of the Legislature has long prided itself on tradition and a particular view of decorum. Senators are banned from looking at each other during debates, and are required to instead look only at the president of the Senate while speaking. Men — including both senators and members of the press — are required to wear a jacket and tie on the Senate floor, while women have less specific rules but are expected to dress professionally. Anyone on the Senate floor is banned from bringing in food or beverages, including water.
Supporters of the rules, who have continually voted down attempts to change them, say they are needed to enforce order — and protect the Senate’s antique desks from water damage.
I hope these senators come to their sense and realize that the wisdom of the no water rule is so self-evident that the only sensible choice is to expand it beyond the floor. The no water for senators rule should be expanded to encompass the entire state. Imagine how much better this state would be if elected senators were never allowed to drink water. Minnesota’s most significant problems would be solved in approximately three days!
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a massive stack of paper that no single person could ever hope to read and fully comprehend. I only hope that somewhere buried in that mountain of paper is a clause that requires insurance companies to cover lube because us Minnesotans are going to need a lot of it:
Big rate increases next year in the state’s individual market mean that Minnesotans who buy health insurance on their own will pay above-average premiums — a startling reversal from 2014 when individual market rates in much of the state were among the lowest in the nation.
A federal report this week looked at rates for “benchmark” plans across 44 states and found a family of four in Minnesota will pay $1,396 per month for the coverage. That’s about 28 percent higher than the average across most of those states at $1,090 per month.
Everybody is getting fucked in the ass by the ACA but us Minnesotans are going to get fucked a bit harder. Predictably a lot of people are upset about this and have decided that the only fix for more government is even more government. Democrats are talking more seriously about single payer while the Republicans are obsessing over what they want to replace the ACA with. With both major political parties seemingly uninterested in deregulating the healthcare market this situation is only going to get worse.
At least the universe has a sense of humor because the number of people covered by health insurance, the metric being used by proponents of the ACA to prove it has been successful, is going to dwindle as fewer and fewer people are able to afford even a basic health insurance plan. When that happens the proponents of the act will have to find a new metric to declare victory with (which won’t change anything but watching them desperately scramble to spin things into victory again will be amusing to watch).
Two days ago was National Register to Vote Day. It amounted to the Internet asking what I was doing to encourage my friends to register to vote and me responding that I don’t encourage my friends to actively participate in their own subjugation. Voting exists to give the subjects the false belief that they have a say in the actions of their rulers. You can see this by simply looking at the ballot. For each office a ballot will list any running candidates and leave a space if you want to write somebody else in. What isn’t on the ballot is the option to abolish the office. As Noam Chomsky said, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views.” You are allowed, at most, to choose your master from a curated list but you can’t choose to do something radical.
The system is rigged. This fact has become so obvious that even the rulers are publicly admitting it:
President Barack Obama warned in a radio interview on Wednesday that Americans who vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein in November risk putting Donald Trump into the White House, as he sought to blunt momentum for third-party candidates.
“If you don’t vote, that’s a vote for Trump,” Obama said in an interview on the Steve Harvey Morning Show. “If you vote for a third-party candidate who’s got no chance to win, that’s a vote for Trump.”
There it is, plain as day. And you know what? He’s right. At least about third-party presidential candidates having no chance of winning (he’s still wrong about not voting or voting for a third-party candidate being a vote for Trump). Third-party candidates exist to create the illusion of choice. Their presence on the ballot legitimizes the State in the eyes of many people who are unhappy with the two major parties by creating the illusion that other alternative exist. In reality your only choice on the ballot is whether you want a republican or a democratic ruler (and in reality even that is a false choice based on how poorly Trump has been polling).
Here’s my question, if you know the game is rigged why bother playing it? You don’t have an actual choice, you have a curated list of choices deemed acceptable by the rulers. And if you don’t live in a swing state you don’t even have that. Here in Minnesota, for example, Hillary is going to win. Any vote that isn’t for her won’t count in any meaningful way. Any vote for her is merely an exercise in electoral masturbation since it serves no purpose other than increasing the magnitude of her victory.
Why waste precious minutes or hours of your life in a meaningless exercise? There are so many more productive things you could do. You could read a book, go to the range, hit the gym, smoke a joint, or trim your toenails. But you won’t gain anything by playing a rigged game.
Saturday evening there was a multiple stabbing incident at the St. Cloud Center here in Minnesota. Although tragic there are some lessons that can be learned these kinds of situations and this incident is no different:
In a media briefing after midnight Sunday, St. Cloud police chief William Blair Anderson said an off-duty officer from another jurisdiction confronted and killed the suspect. He said the suspect — who was dressed in a private security uniform — reportedly asked at least one victim whether they were Muslim before assaulting them, and referred to Allah during the attacks.
Here lies our most important lesson. The attacker was dressed in a security uniform. This probably allowed him to get close to his victims without raising any red flags, which is important if you’re relying a knife. So the lesson here is that not everybody is exactly as they appear. Just because somebody is dressed like a cop or a security guard doesn’t mean they actually are one. Don’t let your guard down just because somebody is in a specific uniform.
One of my friends pointed out another lesson to be learned from this:
The mall remained on lockdown after the incident, but authorities expected those remaining inside to be released early Sunday. Photos and video of the mall taken hours after the incident showed groups of shoppers waiting to be released, including some huddled together near a food court entrance.
The officers trapped people inside the mall with the attacker. When the police arrived it wasn’t yet known if there were multiple attackers so the mall goers were potentially locked in a building with multiple people meaning to cause them harm. Being confined in an area with an unknown number of assailants is not a good place to be. If you hear that there’s an attacker in the building find the nearest fire exit and go through it. If you’re luck the police won’t see you leave. If you’re unlucky they’ll catch you but in that case you’ll likely be held in the back of a squad car, which is still a safer place than being confined in an area with and unknown number of potential assailants.
Keep your guard up when you’re out and about. Listen to your gut instinct. If that little voice in the back of your head is telling you something is wrong then you should listen to it. We’ve all been doing this human thing for our entire lives so we’re pretty good at subconsciously reading very subtle signs from one another. Anybody can put on any uniform they please but a uniform isn’t going to conceal all those subtle signs we use to judge one another’s intentions. If that voice is telling you the approaching security guard means you harm take heed and book it.
Be aware of all the potential exits. Fire exits are especially good in these kinds of situations because they usually trip a fire alarm. If it’s an audible alarm it will alert other people in the building to get out. If it’s a silent alarm it will still involve a response from the local authorities.
Finally, have a plan to defend yourself if escape isn’t an option. I recommend that people carry a firearm because they give you the best fighting chance. But even if you’re not willing or are unable to carry a firearm you should have some defensive response that you’ve trained thoroughly enough to be instinctual. Be it martial arts, mace, a baton, or even a knife. While you might not win a violent encounter even if you have a means of self-defense, you will certainly lose one if your response is to freeze up.
Who’s a good politician? You are! Yes you are!
CORMORANT, Minn. —Nine-year-old Duke, a Great Pyrenees, handily won another one-year term as mayor of the small northwestern Minnesota town of Cormorant, Detroit Lakes Online reports.
“I don’t know who would run against him because he’s done such great things for the community,” Cormorant resident Karen Nelson told Detroit Lakes Online.
The locals say Duke has one of the highest approval ratings in the country.
The people of Cormorant have their heads screwed on right. They’ve corrected one of the biggest mistakes more people make, which is electing humans to political office. Not only are dogs generally loyal but they’re also unable to speak any human language so they can’t make decrees. Furthermore, their scheming consists almost entirely of getting treats, being pet, and playing fetch. If everybody political office was occupied by a dog instead of a human politician the world would be a much better place.
Here’s a heads up, everybody. If you’re planning on attending the Minnesota State Fair, and I don’t know why anybody would, be prepared for longer than usual lines to get in because every attendee is going to be treated like a criminal:
Going to the Minnesota State Fair this year? Make sure you have your ticket in hand and your bag open.
The State Fair says bags, purses, coolers and packages will now be subject to search at each of the fair’s 11 entrances. Prohibited items include weapons and fireworks but also alcoholic beverages, drones, bikes, skateboards, skates and hoverboards. Other items may also be refused at the discretion of fair management or police.
Of course this is being done under the guise of security. Realistically it’s nothing but security theater though. Searching bags won’t, for example, find any weapons being concealed on a person’s body (although that’s something they cannot legally prohibit if a person has a carry permit but the law has never stopped the State from violating people’s rights). Also notice that alcoholic beverages are prohibited, which will greatly boost the profits of the State Fair alcohol vendors. Drones, bicycles, skateboards, and hoverboards aren’t a security risk to anybody so giving officers discretion to ban them in the name of security is nonsense.
There’s something else worth noting here. The Minnesota Agriculture Society, which runs the Minnesota State Fair, is a public corporation [PDF], which is a fancy way of saying a government created and owned corporation. The Stair Fair grounds are owned by the State of Minnesota. In other words the Minnesota State Fair is a government event run by a government corporation that happens on government property. If the Bill of Rights actually meant anything these bag searches would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment since warrants aren’t being issued against each fair attendee. But the Bill of Rights, like all government laws, doesn’t actually apply to the State so it can violate your rights with impunity and if you complain it might investigate itself and determine it did nothing wrong.
Did you know there was a rash of armed robberies in Minnesota last month? You wouldn’t have known it from the headlines since the media seemed more interesting in covering the dumpster fires that are the presidential campaigns. But during the month of July over 13,000 Minnesotans were victimized of armed robbers:
ST. PAUL, Minn. – More than 13,000 motorists are a few bucks poorer after being ticketed during a recent statewide speed enforcement crackdown.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) says officers, deputies and state troopers wrote 13,214 citations for unsafe speeds during the crackdown, that was carried out by more than 300 law enforcement agencies between July 8 and July 22. That compares with 16,410 speeding tickets issued during last year’s campaign.
There were also 1,543 seat belt citations compared with 2,101 in 2015, which suggests a bit of progress in the campaign to improve driving and road safety in Minnesota.
Oh, I guess I was mistaken. Since the men with guns who were robbing people had magic suits and badges these incidents weren’t labeled armed robbery but “traffic citations.” We truly live in a world of Orwellian doublespeak.
I think an important question must be asked now, why were these officers sitting on the highways looking for prey instead of solving crimes? I’ve been told by many statists that there aren’t enough police officers to deal with all of the crime. If that’s the case why are they sitting in their cars instead of finding muggers, rapists, murderers, and thieves?
This is why I roll my eyes whenever some boot licker tells me that I’m only free to criticize cops because the cops are keeping me safe from criminals. The police don’t seem very interested in dealing with criminals. Most of their time seems to be invested in harassing motorists exceeding an arbitrarily chosen speed, kidnaping people using recreational chemicals, and shooting the neighbors of people selling those recreational chemicals (apparently the officers can afford to fuel a BearCat but can’t afford somebody to double-check addresses before a raid).
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has released a report that nobody will find surprising:
It’s not just your brakelight-riddled imagination: Freeway congestion in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul was the worst on record last year, according to a new report from Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The agency’s annual report on freeway congestion said congestion was up from 21.1 percent in 2014 to 23.4 percent last year. That’s the highest number since the agency started collecting data in 1993.
Anybody who lives in the Twin Cities knows that traffic congestion is terrible. But it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to know why congestion is so bad. The blame is entirely on MnDOT. The brilliant men and women at MnDOT thought it would be a jolly good idea to tear up most of the major traffic arteries simultaneously. When you tear up a major traffic artery more traffic is forced onto the remaining arteries. If you tear up all but a few arteries the few remaining ones quickly exceed capacity and nobody can go anywhere quickly.
Not only did MnDOT decide to tear up all of the major arteries but it also seems entirely unconcerned with finishing any of the projects in a timely manner. Highway 100, for example, has been torn up all summer and still isn’t finished.
MnDOT’s report illustrates what everybody living in the Twin Cities already knows: whoever is in charge of planning road construction projects is a sadist who gets off on inflicting pain on motorists.
Are you a Minnesotan looking to buy a gun but don’t have a lot of money? I have good news for you! On August 27th Pillsbury United Communities and the City of Minneapolis will be operating a gun buyback. Here are the prices you’ll need to beat:
People turning in firearms can do so anonymously, and will receive $25 to $300 Visa gift cards, depending on the type of firearm. Authorities from Minneapolis Fire Department and the Minneapolis African American Professional Firefighter Association will be on hand to accept the surrendered weapons at two local fire stations.
If you’re looking for some cheap guns bring cash to either of the two fire stations and beat the government’s offer. You might not even have to beat the government’s offer since cash is more valuable than gift cards. Minnesota still allows private transfers so you won’t even have to drag the person you’re buying from to a federally licensed dealer.
Another thing you might consider doing is heading over to your local hardware store and buying up supplies to build cheap zip guns. For $7 you can build a little 12 gauge shotgun:
That’s a potential $18 of profit in your pocket. Since the buyback is anonymous you and your friends can keep coming back with more zip guns to trade up for gift cards. Then you can use your profits to buy yourself a decent gun.
The Minneapolis Police Department is well known for its high speed, low drag attitude. Instead of deescalation and conflict avoidance the MPD prefers throwing down with anybody it can create an excuse to throw down with. In fact the department is so cocksure that it didn’t even try to hide its love of violence in its recent recruiting video. However, many people weren’t amused by the video so the MPD was a bit red in the fact and decided to abuse the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in an attempt to erase the video from the Internet:
Less than a week after an officer from a nearby force shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop, leaving him to die in front of his child and girlfriend (and the world on livestream) the Minneapolis Police Department has perjured itself in issuing a copyright takedown notice to Youtube in order to suppress a controversial recruiting video that depicted the jobs of MPD officers as being a firearms-heavy shoot-em-up.
The video had attracted alarm and criticism by officials and the public, who saw it as indicative of a deep culture of violent, shoot-first policing in the Minneapolis police.
When you start repeating a lie often enough you also start to believe it. The MPD believes that their job is to be domestic soldiers. Who are they at war with? The people. At least that’s the only enemy that exists in Minneapolis because the city isn’t really known for being in a state of civil war. That leads the department to choose violence before deescalation. At this point the attitude is so prevalent that the department’s recruiters can’t even make their recruitment videos looks like anything other than an Army recruitment video. When their videos are finally criticized by the public the MPD resorts to its default tactic, government violence, by threatening anybody hosting the video with a DMCA takedown notice.