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John Ellenbecker, St. Cloud’s former mayor, is the worst kind of bigot. Like too many leftists, he’s heard things that’ve never gotten said. He’s certain of things that he doesn’t have proof for. This LTE caused lots of comments, including this comment from Mr. Ellenbecker:

the proposed moratorium WAS/IS about excluding people from St. Cloud. The desire to exclude people from St Cloud is based upon bigotry – that is a simple fact. You can delude yourself if you like – but bigotry is bigotry – and it is alive and well and living in those who proposed the moratorium. Bigots aren’t bigots because they disagree with me. Bigots are bigots because of what is in their heart and soul. Rather than arguing with me why not examine why you don’t want Somali Americans residing next to you.

This is simple fact? Forgive me if I’m not persuaded by Mr. Ellenbecker’s allegations. What’s his proof? FYI- Mr. Ellenbecker went to law school. I don’t know if he’s still a lawyer because I’ve heard that he’s had some ethical difficulties. He should be familiar with the concept of presenting verifiable evidence. Apparently, the law school he attended taught him that allegations are verifiable proof.

Here’s how Robert Ahles responded to Mr. Ellenbecker:

You keep making things up. No one mentioned Somali Americans or them residing next to me, next to Dave Bechtold, or next to many community member concerned about the additional taxpayer costs. I’m guessing I’d probably rather live next to a Somali American than next to a John Ellenbecker.

Well played, Mr. Ahles. Stick in the proverbial dagger, then give it a sharp twist or 2.

This isn’t surprising when you think about it. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee insisted that then-Judge Kavanaugh shouldn’t be afforded the presumption of innocence. The Obama administration’s Department of Education sent out a guidance letter instructing universities not to give people who were accused of sexual assault the right to an attorney, the right to cross-examine his accuser or any other due process rights.

Is it any wonder why lots of people don’t think that Democrats care about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights?

Perhaps the more accurate title of this post should be ‘When will Leftists protest these civil rights’? FIRE’s Susan Kruth’s article on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s revised regulations outlines changes to Obama administration’s anti-due process regulations.

Let’s be clear. The Obama administration’s Education Department was anti-civil rights. When it came to dealing with alleged sexual assault on campus, the Obama administration’s Education Department “encouraged schools to have a single investigator adjudicate sexual misconduct cases through a series of separate meetings with the parties and witnesses.” By contrast, the DeVos-proposed regulations pertaining to alleged sexual assault “requires that schools ‘must provide for a live hearing’ when adjudicating a case.”

In other words, universities must allow a cross-examination of the accuser. Nameless, faceless accusers won’t have their ‘day in court’. Kruth continues with this:

Having a live hearing ensures that all parties can see exactly the same evidence and testimony that the fact-finder is seeing, so that he or she can rebut that evidence and testimony as fully as he or she is able.

The department’s new rules go on to require a typical and critically important feature of live hearings: cross-examination of all witnesses, including the parties. The Supreme Court has called cross-examination the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth,” and it can be especially paramount in cases that hinge on witness testimony, as the Sixth Circuit emphasized just two months ago.

How an administration that swore an oath to uphold the Constitution can deprive people of this basic civil right is startling. Further, it’s time to admit that leftist Democrats are now fascists and/or anarchists. IF you think I’m kidding, check out Eric Swalwell’s proposal:

In a USA Today op-ed entitled “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., argued Thursday that prior proposals to ban assault weapons “would leave millions of assault weapons in our communities for decades to come.”

Look at the mental gymnastics Rep. Swalwell employs to justify this confiscation:

You’re probably wondering what gun confiscation has to do with due process rights. That’s a fair question. They’re both part of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The right to keep and bear arms is a sacred right. I prefer referring to it as the right to protect myself and my family. It’s a natural right. The Supreme Court has called the right to due process and to confront your accuser the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”

It isn’t supposition to say that Democrats have opposed the right to protect yourself and your family from burglars and criminals as vigorously as they’ve opposed the right of people to cross-examine their accusers. What other constitutional rights do Democrats want to sacrifice on the altar of political correctness?

This past week, Democrats insisted that the Kavanaugh hearings weren’t a real trial so they didn’t need to pay attention to innocent until proven guilty. Let’s examine the intellectual integrity of that principle. (I’m betting it won’t last long but that’s just me.)

Does anyone think that innocent until proven guilty is just a judicial philosophy deployed in trials? If that’s what you think, you’d better rethink things immediately. While it’s true that innocent until proven guilty is standard during trials, it’s also the foundation to living a moral life. (Perhaps, that’s why Democrats are trying to quarantine it to trials.)

Christine Ford, as visually convincing as she was, still can’t prove that Judge Kavanaugh did what she’s accused him of doing. After her testimony, she still can’t provide a scintilla of corroboration. She’ll never be able to do that. Despite that important objective fact, Democrats insist that Judge Kavanaugh must disprove this negative. But I digress.

Imagine living in a world where a person’s life can be utterly demolished by unsubstantiated allegations. Is that a world you want to live in? Is that a world you want your kids to inherit?

This fall, Democrats have campaigned by saying that our democracy is at stake. They’re kinda right but not in the way they mean. Why isn’t their insistence on demolishing a family’s life without a hint of corroboration more damaging than President Trump’s tweets?

Isn’t the Democrats’ insistence that people they don’t like bear the burden of disproving a negative longer lasting than a Trump Twitter tirade? Haven’t Democrats, starting with Ted Kennedy’s borking of Judge Bork, weaponized the confirmation process?

Ted Kennedy’s diatribe in 1987 was pure BS. What’s sad is that, since then, the Democrats have weaponized the confirmation process even more. Do we really want to pretend that Democrats play fair? Here’s a hint to Sen. Flake: they don’t play fair. Ever.

In this op-ed, Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz poses a pretty potent what if that liberals should think twice about.

First, he wrote “the New York Times has reported that, according to three sources, special counsel Robert Mueller is trying to stitch together an obstruction of justice case against President Trump based on his public tweets, TV appearances, conversations with public officials and other entirely lawful acts.” Next, he wrote “Just imagine a prosecutor going through all of your tweets, all of your conversations, all of your actions and all of your emails in search of a plausible theory of criminality based on an accordion-like statute such as obstruction of justice. If Mueller manages to cobble together an obstruction of justice case from innocent communications, then this dangerous precedent will lie around like a loaded gun ready to be used by any vindictive prosecutors against any plausible target. That target could be you or someone you love. It could be a Democrat or a Republican. It could be a liberal or a conservative.”

People keep saying that “we don’t know what Mueller has.” Technically, that’s true. It’s also misleading. The truth is that Mueller would already be writing the report if he had something damning against President Trump. He wouldn’t be expanding the fishing expedition into President Trump’s public comments and tweets if he had the goods.

Dershowitz has been consistent talking about civil rights:

Defenders of Mueller will surely argue that it is common for prosecutors to stitch together innocent conduct to manufacture a crime, especially when the target is a suspected drug dealer, a terrorist or gangster. Tragically they are right. There are such cases, but there shouldn’t be. Many wrongs do not make a right.

Moreover, in those cases, the underlying conduct is generally done in secret. Here, Mueller apparently is trying to turn public, open communications — core First Amendment expression — into a crime.

The time has come — indeed, it is long overdue – for all Americans to take a hard look at broad, ambiguous and open-ended statutes, which empower prosecutors to be “creative.” There is a concept in criminal law known as lenity: If there are numerous ways of interpreting a statute, the law requires that it be interpreted in the most reasonably narrow way, so as to avoid empowering prosecutors to target unpopular defendants. Failing to apply this concept to constitutionally protected tweets, messages, emails, etc., should concern every civil libertarian, even those who are anxious to find legal weapons with which to target President Trump.

JFK once famously said that if the laws don’t protect everybody, they don’t protect anybody. We should never forget that statement because truer words were never spoken.

The St. Cloud Times’ Nora Hertel should be applauded for applying an excruciating amount of scrutiny during Keith Ellison’s visit to St. Cloud this week. It’s a safe bet he won’t grant her an exclusive interview after she put the screws to Mr. Ellison. Check this out.

For instance, we found out that “Ellison told a friendly audience in St. Cloud [aka CAIR-MN] that it’s difficult to get legislation passed in Washington D.C. now, while state attorneys general are on the front lines of protecting people’s rights.”

Later, we found out that Ellison “shared his platform and took questions from the small group Friday at New York Gyro on Third Street North. Ellison has served in Congress for 12 years and practiced law long before that.” Still later, when asked about his views on law enforcement, Ellison replied that “Like fire service and public utilities, public safety services should be delivered fairly, Ellison said. He supports a number of reforms including: allowing felons to vote, decriminalizing marijuana, training police on de-escalation and implicit bias. He supports drug courts and wants to treat addiction as a medical, rather than a law enforcement, problem.”

In other words, Ellison’s priority would be to teach the police to stop being racists and to stop shooting innocent minorities when these minorities are given fair, specific instructions by law enforcement officers.

According to the Kirwan Institute, the definition of implicit bias “refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control. Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness. Rather, implicit biases are not accessible through introspection.”

Let’s understand this. Implicit bias resides “deep in the subconscious”, meaning that they “aren’t accessible through introspection.” Further, these biases “are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.”

If we don’t know that these traits exist and they’re “activated involuntarily”, how are we supposed to prevent them? That’s assuming that they actually exist, which I’m skeptical of, at least to the extent that Mr. Ellison says they exist.

Left out of Ms. Hertel’s article is Mr. Ellison’s extensive (and disturbing) interview with radical Rabbi Michael Lerner:

Treating Ellison like he’s just another political candidate ignores Mr. Ellison’s support of cop killers. In his past, Ellison has questioned detectives investigating cop killers like Kathleen Soliah:

At the event, Ellison told the Pioneer Press he believed the prosecution of Olson was political. In his speech, Ellison noted he didn’t know much about the SLA and he thought Olson was being prosecuted in the court of public opinion because of some of her political beliefs.

“I’m a supporter of anybody who’s subject to political prosecution based on their being in a vilified group,” he told the Pioneer Press. “Your chances of getting a fair trial are low. I’ve been waiting for the evidence against her. I don’t think they would not cheat to prosecute this woman.”

Here’s what he said about Assata Shakur and Bernadine Dohrn:

Ellison also spoke favorably of convicted cop killer Assata Shakur and expressed his opposition to any attempt to extradite her to the United States from Cuba, where she had fled after escaping prison.

“I am praying that Castro does not get to the point where he has to really barter with these guys over here because they’re going to get Assata Shakur, they’re going to get a whole lot of other people,” Ellison said at the event, which also included a silent auction and speech by former Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn. “I hope the Cuban people can stick to it, because the freedom of some good decent people depends on it.”

Summarizing, Ellison thinks that cop killers are misunderstood civil rights heroes and that police officers are racists. Is that the type of man we want leading law enforcement? Is that the type of man we want harassing law enforcement? I don’t think so.

This article is proof that Keith Ellison hates the Constitution, especially the First Amendment. It’s also proof that he’s unfit to be Minnesota’s chief law enforcement officer, aka state Attorney General.

The article notes that Ellison is “demanding that Amazon censor books and other materials produced by organizations listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups.” That’s a frightening insight into Ellison’s thinking on multiple levels. First, it’s disturbing that the man who wants to be Minnesota’s attorney general thinks that censorship is a foundational constitutional principle. Hate speech is protected by the First Amendment except if it incites violence. It doesn’t make much sense to have an attorney general who hates constitutionally protected civil rights.

Next. it’s disturbing, though not surprising, that Ellison thinks that the SPLC is a reputable arbiter of right and wrong. Here’s a couple snippets from Ellison’s censorship letter:

Click to enlarge.

Later in the letter is something that’s definitely chilling:

As stated earlier, Amazon has a strict policy against hateful and racist products on its platform. The availability of all the material listed in the aforementioned report indicates to me that either Amazon is willfully refusing to enforce its own policies against the sale of racist products or its sheer size make it impossible for the company to police itself. In either event, Amazon must immediately cease doing business with groups that promote racist violence.

It’s apparent that Ellison hasn’t hesitated in using his official capabilities to intimidate companies into outright censorship.

Any legal eagle that’s anti-civil rights is disqualified to be Minnesota’s attorney general.

Saying that picking Erin Maye Quade is Erin Murphy’s first unforced mistake isn’t controversial outside the DFL. Since I’m not in the DFL, I’m not that worried what the DFL thinks. Frankly, I’m confident that I’ve got lots of company in thinking that.

Filling out Erin Maye Quade’s identity isn’t difficult. She’s admitted to organizing with Barack Obama in 2007-08. She’s led this year’s anti-gun protest at the Capitol. She’s from Apple Valley. Combining with Erin Murphy is natural since the DFL is the Metrocrat Party. Increasingly, to the DFL, life outside the Twin Cities Metro doesn’t exist. Increasingly, to the Metro DFL, people who want to protect their families are considered weird. If you don’t believe me, ask Lori Swanson how welcoming the DFL is to NRA members. Swanson led Matt Pelikan by 5 points after the first ballot. Shortly thereafter, the DFL endorsed Pelikan. After the first ballot, Pelikan dropped a neutron bomb in the convention center, telling everyone that — gasp! — the NRA had given Swanson an A rating. Within 15 minutes, Swanson withdrew.

Why would we think that an anti-mining, gun-grabbing, pro-single-payer health care ticket from the Twin Cities would attempt to represent rural Minnesota? That being said, I’m praying that this is the DFL ticket this November. Check out the last half of this video:

Quade first admits that she’s a first-term legislator. Next, she virtually admits that parents can’t afford child care. Perhaps, she should’ve told Gov. Dayton not to let several hundred million dollars leave the program as a result of fraud.

Nothing in Ms. Quade’s legislative history suggests that she’s prepared to be governor if, God forbid, Murphy is incapacitated. Then again, I question whether either of these women are interested in representing the people of rural Minnesota. I’m betting they won’t.

This ticket screams identity politics. This ticket doesn’t seem interested in representing all of Minnesota’s 87 counties. In the end, that’s why I think Murphy-Quade will get beat by Walz-Flanagan.

Written by Rambling Rose

The Left calls foul and proves how intolerant they are when the person they attack is not silenced and does not cower in their presence. Last January, senior Addison Barnes at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, OR, entered his first-period “People and Politics” class wearing a T-shirt. The only problem was that his T-shirt was not PC. He displayed a statement from President Trump’s campaign. He knew that he was “making a statement” but assumed that it was covered by the school’s policies on the right of students’ free speech and the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

“Specifically, the words on the shirt read: ‘Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.,’ with ‘The Wall Just Got 10 Feet Taller’ in quotes.”

He was wrong. During the class, Assistant Principal Amanda Ryan-Fear removed him from class and ordered him to cover his shirt. She stated that the teacher and at least one other student had been offended by his shirt during a discussion on immigration. He complied and returned to class. However, he realized that he had a right, protected by the First Amendment and his own school’s policies, to state his own opinion so he uncovered his shirt.

Later that same hour, the assistant principal returned to his class and saw his shirt. She ordered a security guard to remove Barnes. She reminded him that his shirt offended others and gave him the choice to cover the shirt or to go home for the day. Barnes went home. [Editor’s note: I would have said ‘None of the above’, then asked the assistant principal if she’d prefer I be allowed to wear the shirt or fight a civil rights lawsuit that she’d lose badly.]

The following Monday, Addison Barnes and his father met with Principal Greg Timmons. They learned that his absence had become a suspension and that the teacher and student had also changed their claim—they felt “threatened.” The suspension was rescinded, but Barnes was told that he would be suspended again if he ever wore that shirt in the school.

He obeyed the directive until April when he was interviewed by another student for a documentary on the First Amendment. That student was ordered to obscure or blur the shirt before uploading the segment to the school’s online learning platform.

Mr. Barnes sued the school, the district and Principal Timmons for denying him his First Amendment right. His actions were silent and passive, reflected the theme of the day’s discussion in January and the topic of the interview in April. No violence or disturbance were caused by Barnes; only the teacher, a fellow student and the administrators were disruptive in protesting his rights. The charge also addresses the “selective” discrimination by allowing other offensive statements reflecting the favored stance of the welcoming Sanctuary City to be displaced in posters in classrooms for the entire school year. Mr. Barnes and others found those posters offensive but recognized that they were protected by the First Amendment and said nothing.

“The suit seeks a declaratory judgment stating that the school violated Barnes First Amendment rights and a permanent injunction against the school enforcing its guidelines in a similar manner, so the teen can again wear the shirt to school. Unspecified damages, court costs and attorney fees are also sought.” It was filed on May 18, 2018.

In the words of one of his lawyers, “The high school, ironically named Liberty High School, had violated his free-speech rights. He was told he offended them but that’s a far cry from being disruptive, and it is certainly a far cry from violating school policy, let alone what is clearly First Amendment free-speech law.”

Even the ACLU had to defend Barnes’ right to free speech, although they did so reluctantly. “It is disappointing that Liberty High School decided to censor the student instead of inviting the student body to discuss immigration, the freedom of speech, and the impacts of xenophobic rhetoric. Schools have a responsibility to teach our youth how to engage in thoughtful conversations about difficult and potentially offensive subject matters. Censorship doesn’t work and often just elevates the subject the government is trying to silence.”

While the Liberty High School’s Parent-Student Handbook does not address political clothing directly, the Standards of Student Conduct do prohibit “illustration, words or phrases” that are or could be disruptive and/or that promote one group over another. There was no disruption in the class or the interview and the T-shirt reflected the topics under discussion—immigration and the First Amendment. It does not appear that Mr. Barnes committed any violation. [Editor’s note, part II: If possible, the judge should prohibit Liberty HS from posting rules that infringe upon a person’s right to speak their mind. Final note: The First Amendment guarantees the right of people to say offensive things. It doesn’t, however, give people the right to say things that cause people to injure people.]

One can only hope that justice will be served, but that is not always the case when judges make law from the bench rather than interpret the laws of the land.

Thanks and stay strong, Addison Barnes.

ISD 742 was one of the 43 school districts that received a letter that “for suspension and expulsion disparities that the department claims violate the state Human Rights Act ‘because they deny students of color and students with disabilities educational access and negatively impact academic achievement.’ The human rights department offered the district two agreements to consider as a way to eliminate those disparities. A lawyer offered the district a modified agreement.”

Unfortunately, the District has already bought into this liberal ideology. According to the article, “the board voted Wednesday to offer the human rights department a fourth option, a version that highlights the work the district is already doing to eliminate suspension disparities and to change the focus of the agreement to keeping all students in school by using nonexclusionary practices.”

Discipline in the district was effectively nonexistent already. Commissioner Lindsey’s Department will make things worse.

The ‘remedy’ is worse than the disease:

The agreement the board approved submitting to the human rights department lists policies implemented by the district to reduce instances where student behaviors result in exclusionary discipline. Those include:

  1. Eliminating zero tolerance policies except where required by law,
  2. Having an in-school suspension policy designed to result in less adverse effects on minorities while still allowing disciplined students to be separated from the student body when necessary,
  3. Having a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support program,
  4. Practicing restorative justice,
  5. Implementing culturally responsive instructional practices,
  6. Implementing social and emotional learning initiatives,
  7. Providing additional staff training in classroom management, conflict resolution and ways to deescalate classroom disruption and misconduct,
  8. Providing programs to engage families,
  9. Educating students on conflict resolution skills, and
  10. Providing district resources to provide in-school alternatives to suspension.

Setting discipline based on racial quotas rather than behavior is counterproductive. This isn’t discipline. Potentially, it’s a protection racket. Don’t think that gangs won’t keep track of this. Thanks to ‘quota-based discipline’, gangs will know when disciplining them is off-limits.

Further, there’s no proof that restorative justice leads to better educational outcomes. After reading this article, I’m more than skeptical of restorative justice’s viability. That term is similar to strategic patience or leading from behind, which are different ways of saying doing nothing.

The MDHR is an activist position that pays a person a bloated salary. Further, the threats MDHR extends aren’t based on actual complaints but from statistics. Quota-based discipline is a collectivist’s system of discipline. That sounds more like a system based on implicit bias than on what’s actually happening.

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Progressives often get lumped in with liberals. That shouldn’t happen. Progressives frequently resemble fascists. They frequently ‘win’ their arguments by accusing people of lying. That’s the case with Maria Cardona’s op-ed. Ms. Cardona wrote “Trump claims several untruths: that nothing has been found thus far in this investigation; that they have found absolutely no collusion; that the whole thing is a partisan witch hunt; and that the sacrosanct attorney-client privilege is dead.”

What BS. I’d love hearing Ms. Cardona list the things Robert Mueller has found thus far that proves collusion. After all, that’s what President Trump has consistently complained about. As for President Trump’s statement that Mueller’s probe being a partisan witch hunt, that isn’t a lie. It’s President Trump’s opinion. It’s virtually impossible to lie when stating an opinion. As for whether “the sacrosanct attorney-client privilege is dead,” I’ll leave that to Harvard Professor Emeritus Dershowitz, who wrote “Clients should be able to rely on confidentiality when they disclose their most intimate secrets in an effort to secure their legal rights. A highly publicized raid on the president’s lawyer will surely shake the confidence of many clients in promises of confidentiality by their lawyers. They will not necessarily understand the nuances of the confidentiality rules and their exceptions. They will see a lawyer’s office being raided and all his files seized.”

Professor Dershowitz is a principled, old-fashioned liberal. Old-fashioned liberals frequently displayed a commitment to civil liberties. They frequently had a libertarian streak in them, too. The point is that old-fashioned liberalism isn’t compatible with hardline progressivism. Often, they’re opposites.

I’m happy that President Trump won but I’m not a win-at-all-costs person. I’ve seen enough of Professor Dershowitz to say the same thing of him. Watch his principles in this interview:

I can’t say that about Ms. Cardona.