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Last week, I received an email from Sarah Anderson talking about the state budget surplus. Rep. Anderson wrote “Dear Neighbors, today the state budget forecast was released showing a whopping $1.54 billion surplus.” We have another $2.45 billion in the State’s rainy day fund. Despite all this money sitting in Minnesota’s coffers, it’s stunning that the DFL is pushing tax increases.

It’s time to ditch Minnesota’s ‘business model’ and establish new priorities. The achievement gap isn’t closing, at least not compared to what they should be for all the money that’s gotten spent.

Minnesota’s economy isn’t terrible but it isn’t exactly hitting on all cylinders, either. The DFL spent most of the last decade building Minnesota’s government instead of building Minnesota’s economy. In 2013, Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature passed the biggest tax hikes in Minnesota history. Since then, the middle class of all age groups have left Minnesota. The only income group that’s increasing their percent in the state are the lowest incomes.

It makes sense. From an education standpoint, Minnesota is mediocre. From a taxes and regulations perspective, Minnesota isn’t competitive. It isn’t close. If the DFL doesn’t admit that their blueprint isn’t working, we’ll quickly turn into a cold California. Why does the DFL think that raising taxes will strengthen the economy?

In 2007, the DFL insisted that spending should be indexed to inflation. Now Melissa Hortman insists that, because spending isn’t tied to inflation, the $1.54 billion surplus is really only $382,000,000. According to Hortman, that’s justification for additional tax hikes.

The moral to this story is that the DFL doesn’t understand a thing about economic competitiveness. They want their tax hikes regardless of whether it hurts or not. This move hurts badly. Throughout the state, people from all income groups (except the poor and the working poor) are leaving for lower-tax states. That’s what’s driving the worker shortage.

Let’s hope Hortman and Walz don’t kill Minnesota’s economic competitiveness entirely. BTW, this is how socialism kills economies. When people lose the ability to make profits, they either leave the state or they stop making what they’d been making.

At a time when there’s major distrust of institutions of government, you’d think that government closest to the people would hold themselves to a higher level of listening to their constituents. That certainly isn’t what’s happening at the ISD742 monthly meetings.

A loyal reader of LFR sent me an email highlighting the fact that the school board welcomes people to their meetings but doesn’t want the public’s input. Contained in the email is a sentence that says “This is a public meeting and any residents are welcome to attend and listen, but there is not a public input session scheduled at this meeting.”

BTW, here’s the email:

I’m not a constitutional law professor but I can’t see how this isn’t a violation of the First Amendment. This judge’s ruling seems to strengthen that belief:

A section of a Virginia school board’s bylaws violates the First Amendment and results in stifled speech, according to a ruling by a federal district judge on April 27. U.S. District Court Judge Henry C. Morgan Jr. held that the Virginia Beach School Board’s rule banning personal “attacks or accusations” during public comment periods at board meetings was a form of prior restraint.

The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed last July by David and Nicole Bach, who are parents in the school district. The Bachs claimed that school district officials enacted the provision in retaliation for the Bachs’ criticism of the district’s gifted education program. After the school board imposed the restriction, the Bachs argued that the bylaw stifled their free speech rights. The judge ordered the school board to strike the contested provision from the bylaw, but also allowed the other rules for the public comment portion of meetings to remain.

This is directly on point. Most importantly, it’s an attempt to stifle speech that the school board doesn’t want to hear.

That’s tough. If these politicians don’t want to hear from their constituents, they should resign. If they can’t stand the heat, they shouldn’t be in the kitchen.

The next time that the St. Cloud School Board meets, citizens should insist on giving input. If the board doesn’t permit it, the citizens should notify the school board that they’re filing a lawsuit in federal court claiming that their practices violate their First Amendment rights.

Citizens shouldn’t be stifled by the ruling class. It’s clear that they don’t see themselves as public servants. How sad is that?

Saying that Dr. Eric Sprankle is a totally sick puppy is understatement. Dr. Sprankle is an associate professor at Minnesota State, Mankato. He’s also the subject of this article, which highlights Dr. Sprankle’s tweet that God didn’t get Mary’s consent when He impregnated her. Here’s Dr. Sprankle’s tweet:


A brief scan of Dr. Sprankle’s Twitter feed shows that he’s quite interested in Satanism. In my estimation, that makes his accusations about God more than a little questionable. Consider this passage in the Gospel of Luke:

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; [e]blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Nowhere in this passage does Mary object. Mary asked a simple question. The angel Gabriel answered Mary’s question. Once the angel answered Mary’s question, Mary replied “Let it be to me according to your word.”

Further, though it’s difficult to explain, Mary gave birth to Jesus as a virgin. I fully admit that I can’t explain it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t the truth. It simply means I can’t biologically explain how Mary got pregnant. It’s something I accept as an article of faith.

If Dr. Sprankle wants to say it’s crazy for me to accept things I can’t see as an article of faith, I have this simple reply: I’ve never seen Dr. Sprankle’s brain. Does that mean that trusting he has a brain mean I’m crazy? I rest my case.

Gonzaga University’s ‘leadership’ rejected that school’s College Republicans’ chapter to invite Ben Shapiro to campus. According to Gonzaga University’s vice president of student development, Judi Biggs Garbuio, “Mr. Shapiro’s appearances routinely draw protests that include extremely divisive and hateful speech and behavior, which is offensive to many people, regardless of their age, politics or beliefs.”

Garbuio added that “Gonzaga University is committed to the human dignity of every individual. This is the core of our mission based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, and the foundations of the Society of Jesus. We stand in solidarity with vulnerable members of our community who may be targeted for discrimination, ridicule, or harassment by others.”

This is an old topic. This isn’t the first time so-called intellectuals have cited a ‘hecklers veto’ in preventing Shapiro or other conservatives from appearing on campus. These intellectuals are lightweights who are frightened by the thought of defending their ideas on a substantive basis. Put in more blunt terms, these intellectuals are a bunch of sissies.

What’s funniest to me is that the liberals who started the free speech movement at Berkeley would laugh at them for rejecting the opportunity to debate. Today’s progressives aren’t like yesteryear’s liberals. Can you picture Alan Dershowitz or Christopher Hitchens turning down the opportunity to debate? I can’t.

“Gonzaga’s events policy requires us consider whether an event would pose substantial risk to the safety occurred to any member of our campus community,” Biggs Garbuio said. “In light of what has occurred on other campuses, our security team has raised questions about whether we can adequately secure a campus venue.”

TRANSLATION: We’re too stupid to figure out how to have a clash of ideas while protecting our students. That’s too complex for us.

It’s rather disheartening to see the senior leadership of Minnesota State, formerly known as MnSCU and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, wasting time on this initiative. To be fair, though, they admitted one thing that’s been obvious for years. They asked the question “How does the Minnesota State Board of Trustees enable a large, complex, risk-and change-averse organization to transition itself into a more nimble, responsive, and dynamic enterprise centered on enhancing student success”?

Admitting that a large government entity is “risk- and change-averse” is a nice first step. That being said, it’s just a first step. This bunch still isn’t capable of transferring credits from one MnSCU campus to another MnSCU campus. Why would I suddenly think that they’ll go from failing at such a basic function to being proficient at complex functions in times that Amazon would be proud of?

The reality is that government doesn’t have the incentives, aka profits, to be proficient. If Minnesota State is terrible at something, how does that senior management get punished for making a terrible decision? A: They don’t! As long as the business model doesn’t change, the incentive won’t change, either.

On Pg. 4, they ask “Why Reimagine Minnesota State?” The reply is “Our current approaches have had little impact on key outcomes of student success.” On Pg. 6 of the report, they write “Create the structures, policies, procedures, and funding models that will recognize and accelerate the innovative approaches already occurring on our campuses.”

The ‘business model’ used by private companies is entirely different than that of public institutions. Private companies rely on a profit incentive to drive efficiency. That incentive doesn’t exist in the public sector. They know that if they get things wrong, they just grab more money from taxpayers, then dress it up as their newest innovation.

In the end, this is just another waste of money that won’t accomplish what they want it to accomplish. When you put philosophers in charge, mediocrity soon follows.

Special thanks to Prof. John A. Spry for writing this op-ed that highlights the constitutional weaknesses of the DFL’s health care legislation.

First things first: the bill being proposed by the DFL is HF358. The text of the bill, known as the Minnesota Health Plan, is found here. What’s interesting is the bill’s funding mechanism, which is explained “at the marketing website for the MHP.” It says “The Legislature and Governor would have no authority over the MHP revenues. This is necessary in order to prevent the use of MHP premiums to balance the state budget and would also prevent politicians from starving the health plan of needed funds, a problem that occurs in some of the countries where politicians are responsible for funding their national health plans.”

It isn’t surprising that Prof. Spry notes this:

The advocates of the Minnesota Health Plan want to take away your current health insurance and replace it with the health insurance the unelected government board decides you will have. They even want to take away your right to vote for the people who will make these decisions.

The single-payer Minnesota Health Plan puts health care decisions in the hands of people who are never accountable to the people at the ballot box. That is a terrible way to run a government.

If this is the DFL’s health care ‘solution’, then that’s proof that the DFL doesn’t care about We The People. It’s proof that they care most about bureaucracies and unaccountability.

The DFL’s single-payer health care solution creates more problems than it solves. On top of that, its funding mechanism is unconstitutional. Rather than the DFL scrapping the bill, I’d rather just scrap the DFL this Election Day.

Prof. John Spry’s op-ed talks about the DFL’s Minnesota Health Plan. In Part I of this series, I highlighted the fact that this bill, if passed and signed into law, would have the authority to raise taxes unilaterally:

(f) Premiums and other revenues collected each year must be sufficient to cover that year’s projected costs.

Prof. Spry then notes this:

The Democrats’ legislation says that regional health boards would select eight members of the new Minnesota Health Board. The first eight members selected by regional health boards would then appoint seven additional members who would have to be members of specified health care interest groups. These 15 appointees would never be accountable to the voters at a ballot box. They would have control over life and death decisions for every Minnesotan.

This bill provides for a lengthy list of ‘benefits’ for Minnesotans. See Part I for the benefits. The DFL doesn’t hesitate in telling Minnesotans that they have to buy expensive health care plans. This is especially unfair to young healthy people. Why do they need policies with 31 different coverages?

Prof. Spry then writes:

Americans have proudly rejected authoritarian rule by unelected officials. Our Revolutionary patriots proclaimed “No Taxation without Representation.” In that American tradition, the Minnesota Constitution gives the power of taxation to an elected Legislature. It further requires that this “power of taxation shall never be surrendered, suspended or contracted away.” It is democratic to never let the elected Legislature surrender its power of taxation to an unelected Minnesota Health Board.

The thing that must be noted is that this takes virtually all decision-making out of the hands of families (in terms of what policies they want to purchase) and the legislature (in terms of taxation.) There is nothing democratic about the DFL’s bill. The DFL’s legislation is more fascistic than democratic.

That’s why it must be immediately rejected. Prof. Spry then asks this important question:

Why do Minnesota Democrats want to give the power to tax and spend to the appointed members of the Minnesota Health Board?

Then he provides their answer:

They explain at the marketing website for the single-payer Minnesota Health Plan (MHP):

“The Legislature and Governor would have no authority over the MHP revenues. This is necessary in order to prevent the use of MHP premiums to balance the state budget, and would also prevent politicians from starving the health plan of needed funds, a problem that occurs in some of the countries where politicians are responsible for funding their national health plans.”

In other words, they don’t want accountable people exercising control over their health care plan.

According to this article, he DFL’s fever swamp extends well into the schools. According to the article, “A Rosemount school district employee has resigned over a social media post in which she appeared to suggest that someone should kill new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.”

The article continues, saying “Zuzek said the district began receiving complaints about the tweet on Sunday. It read: ‘So whose [sic] gonna take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh?’ By Monday, a spokesman for the FBI office in Minneapolis said the agency was aware of the posting, and the school district was conducting its own review.”

Rosemount isn’t the only place where the Left’s fever swamp exists. Predictably, it exists in Hollywood, too:

Summarizing, a Minnesota leftie wants Justice Kavanaugh murdered. A Hollywood leftie is thrilled that they ruined Justice Kavanaugh’s life. Democrats don’t regret these things. They just regret that they didn’t prevent Judge Kavanaugh from becoming Justice Kavanaugh.

Democrats didn’t just want to prevent Brett M. Kavanaugh from becoming Justice Kavanaugh. Democrats didn’t hesitate in throwing out principles like the presumption of innocence. It isn’t just that Democrats will do anything to achieve their goals. It’s that Democrats didn’t care what they had to do to demolish a good man.

Written by Rambling Rose

What is truth?

Christians know that Jesus Christ is the Truth. But they and He are rejected in the post-truth world of today. So readers, researchers and journalists (term used loosely) quickly turn to electronic sites to arbitrate “the truth.”

But every day we learn more of the bias coming from the Silicon Valley and the agencies that are engaged more with indoctrination than with information. That bias has earned the name “Speech Code Cartel,” including Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Amazon.

Why is this a concern? In the second quarter, the Soros Fund Management based in New York City and owned by ultra-liberal billionaire George Soros purchased 159,200 shares in Facebook (valued at $31 million), 250,000 shares in Twitter (valued at $11 million), and 54,500 shares in Apple (valued at $10 million). Soros has ties to more than 30 mainstream news outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, the Associated Press, NBC and ABC, according to Media Research Center. He is known to be an ultra-leftist that aspires to influence the future of this country and the world.

Some of that influence is manifested when conservative posts are censored and deleted from social media. Some people are even banned. Just last month, that included blogger Elizabeth Johnston, also known as “The Activist Mommy,” PragerU, and Dr. Robert A.J. Gagnon of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Johnston summarized the basis for the attacks and censorship in these words: “The truth is, Facebook is owned and run by radical leftists who intentionally keep the community guidelines very subjective and vague, which gives them unlimited power to silence and marginalize anyone whose voice they want to shut down. The Left fears our voices because we are effectively persuading and dismantling their lies about abortion, homosexuality, Islam, radical feminism, and a host of other issues that are an all-out assault on our Christian values.”

Various polls have confirmed a great deal of skepticism and distrust among the citizens about the media. 72% believe that the media distort the news with a liberal bias.

What about checking the facts? Yes, like Snopes. Well, that is another facet of the bias.

On September 11, 2018, Joseph Farah, author, journalist and editor-in-chief of the WorldNetDaily, wrote about Facebook’s official “fact-checker.” In his words: “Welcome to the thoroughly unprofessional, politically biased, widely discredited and scandal-plagued world of Snopes.com – now one of the premier gatekeepers in the wacky and warped world of “truth detection…” Farah coined the phrase “Speech Code Cartel” to portray the function of Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Amazon as determined by their founders/owners/shareholders.

Farah outlined the founding in 1995 and growth of Snopes into a recognized source for checking out myths and rumors on the internet. In order to get answers for their questions, David Mikkelson and his then-wife, Barbara, posed as the leaders of “San Fernando Valley Folklore Society.” The group did not exist but afforded the Mikkelsons a façade, probably not illegal but reveals that Snopes started on a questionable foundation. Mikkelson admitted to the Los Angeles Times in 1997: “When I sent letters out to companies, I found I got a much better response with an official-looking organization’s stationery.”

Initially, the research was done by the duo using primarily secondhand internet sources.

The marriage ended in a nasty divorce in 2015, and legal disputes continue yet today. Barbara charged David with embezzlement and infidelity. The business apparently had prospered since David asked that his salary be increased from $240,000 to $360,000, noting that his work merited compensation of $720,000. The settlement involved millions.

David hired Elyssa Young as an administrative assistant and married her in 2016. In 2004, Young ran for Congress in Hawaii but garnered only 3% of the vote. While employed as an administrative assistant, she identifies as a courtesan.

Some have questioned Snopes lack of any “standardized procedure” in fact-checking. Mikkelson defends his system of fact-checking in this way: “[It] involves multiple stages of editorial oversight, so no output is the result of a single person’s discretion.”

Another legal dispute grew out a business relationship with Proper Media from August 2015 through March 2017. Mikkelson terminated the advertising agreement in hopes of regaining control of Snopes. When Proper Media stopped payments, Mikkelson opened a GoFundMe page that initially generated $665,000, but contributions have dwindled although appeals for funds continue on the SaveSnopes.com website.

Many question if Snopes can be fair, balanced and unbiased. Snopes defends some of its findings for not getting the right answer because they did not get the right question.

Even Mikkelson agrees that “bias is in the eye of the beholder.” He notes that it is often conservatives that detect bias in the Snopes reports.

And yet, Snopes is the official fact-checker for Facebook and many reporters. That may add credence to the belief that much news is “fake,” “controlled,” or at least “distorted.”

The First Amendment? Censorship? PC? Truth? Let the citizens beware.

President Obama’s speech yesterday at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana was vintage Obama. He took credit for things he didn’t do. He accused others of doing things that he’d done. He’s trying to make his legacy look better than it is.

For instance, President Obama said “Out of the turmoil of the industrial revolution and the Great Depression, America adapted a new economy, a 20th century economy – guiding our free market with regulations to protect health and safety and fair competition, empowering workers with union movements; investing in science and infrastructure and educational institutions like U of I; strengthening our system of primary and secondary education, and stitching together a social safety net. And all of this led to unrivaled prosperity and the rise of a broad and deep middle class in the sense that if you worked hard, you could climb the ladder of success.”

That’s mostly true, though important parts of it are BS. The industrial revolution helped build “educational institutions” like the University of Illinois. Unfortunately, unions, big government, intolerance and political correctness are killing higher education institutions. The intolerance towards conservatives on campuses is hurting universities like U-Cal Berkeley, the University of Missouri and a number of Ivy League schools.

we have a responsibility to conserve the amazing bounty, the natural resources of this country and of this planet for future generations, each time we’ve gotten closer to those ideals, somebody somewhere has pushed back. The status quo pushes back. Sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change. More often it’s manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep us divided and keep us angry and keep us cynical because that helps them maintain the status quo and keep their power and keep their privilege. And you happen to be coming of age during one of those moments. It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause. He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years. A fear and anger that’s rooted in our past, but it’s also born out of the enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes.

What BS. President Trump isn’t the problem. His predecessor is. His predecessor told everyone that he wanted to fundamentally transform the United States:

President Obama, not President Trump, is the one that’s out-of-step with America. President Trump is rebuilding the United States that prospered and was respected by world leaders. President Obama looked the other way when Putin invaded Crimea, then made signals that he wanted to retake Ukraine. When Ukraine asked for defensive weapons to protect itself, President Obama sent them MREs instead.

And President Obama thinks that President Trump isn’t in touch with American ideals? Apparently, President Obama disagrees with JFK’s infamous speech:

Sending MREs to a just-invaded friend isn’t “bearing any burden” or “paying any price” for the cause of freedom. Sending MREs in that situation is shrinking from what Americans have traditionally done. It’s apparent that President Obama’s view of the United State’ role in the world is badly warped. Why would we listen to that idiot? He took us in the wrong direction for 8 years. We rejected his policies in 2016.

I mention all this just so when you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started. I mean, I’m glad it’s continued, but when you hear about this economic miracle that’s been going on, when the job numbers come out, monthly job numbers, suddenly Republicans are saying it’s a miracle. I have to kind of remind them, actually, those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016.

What utter BS. Did President Obama’s regulations on the coal industry transform the US from reliant on foreign sources of energy to being “energy dominant” now? Of course they didn’t. Did President Obama’s corporate tax increases cause trillions of dollars to come flooding back from other countries? No. Those corporate tax increases caused the outmigration of capital to low-tax nations.

Put differently, President Obama’s policies caused the problems that President Trump and Republican legislators are fixing. While we’re at it, let’s admit that, despite the Democrats’ vigorous efforts to resist that effort, robust economic growth is back like we never saw during President Obama’s time in office. That’s because we’ve got an expert handling the economy now. We don’t have a pointy-headed liberal professor setting economic policy.

It’s time to declare that we aren’t going back to the failed policies of the last 8 years.