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When I wrote this post, I wrote it to highlight the fact that widely accepted Islamic documents teach principles that are totally contrary to the US Constitution.

In my post titled “Human rights in a Shari’ah world”, I highlighted a document titled “the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.” Kevin Johnson had the temerity to tell the truth about what’s in “the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam during his presentation, which is titled “Shariah 101.”

One of the things that Johnson highlights in his presentation is Article 22 of “the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.” Article 22 states “Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.”

Let’s compare that with the First Amendment.

The text of the First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The difference between human rights in Islam vs. the civil rights in the Constitution is dramatic. The Constitution, specifically the First Amendment, doesn’t put qualifiers on the exercise of free speech. According to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, everyone has the “right to express his opinion freely” if it isn’t “contrary to the principles of Shari’ah.” That’s a pretty big qualifier.

This part of Dr. Johnson’s presentation drives that point home powerfully:

It’s apparent that being Shari’ah-compliant is important to St. Cloud’s Islamic leaders. It’s apparent because Dr. Johnson was terminated less than 2 weeks after he signed a contract with CentraCare and after he was told that CentraCare advised him they’d need him to work “as much as possible for the next six months” and less than a week after Dr. Johnson had given his presentation.

The chief point to take from this is that CentraCare put a higher priority on being politically correct than it’s putting on living according to the Constitution. If businesses like CentraCare are willing to trash the First Amendment and become Shariah-compliant, then the First Amendment will have been seriously undermined.

If you want to only be able to speak your mind when you aren’t contradicting Shariah, do nothing. If you think that the Constitution and the First Amendment are right, however, then it’s imperative that you join the fight against the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.

A little over a month ago, I held my annual fundraising week. To say that I appreciate those people who contributed is understatement. Due to some unusual circumstances, I’m holding a supplemental fundraising drive.

Last night, I wrote my first post on a series about ‘creeping Shariah’. I’ve written about many important issues in the 11 years I’ve operated LFR. None of those issues is as big as this issue. In fact, none are even close in importance.

I’m a strong believer in the old Biblical admonition that “a worker is worthy of his wages.” With most issues, I don’t press my case on this. Most issues, though, are transient. The issue of creeping Shariah isn’t transient. It’s the opposite. It’s existential. The harm that Shariah law can do to western civilization is immense, though CAIR will attempt to minimize Shariah’s impact. I will attempt, through this series, to highlight the potential impact of Shariah.

If you want to contribute to getting this information to the public with a check, leave a comment to this post and I will contact you on how we can make this happen. Otherwise, feel free to contribute by clicking on the Donate button in the upper right hand corner of the page.

As always, thanks for your contributions. Know that they’re definitely appreciated.

When I first read this article by Alpha News, it caught my attention for all the wrong reasons. Before we get into the specifics of Alpha News’ article, it’s important to know that the person who has been criticized by various Muslim organizations, including the Central Minnesota chapter of CAIR MN, asked Alpha News to not use his real name. Alpha News agreed, causing them to refer to the person getting criticized as Kevin Johnson. Additionally, it’s important to know that Johnson is a licensed physician.

Johnson put together a presentation titled Shari’ah 101, which he presented in January of 2016. Shortly after giving his presentation, Johnson’s work at CentraCare was terminated. One of the things from Johnson’s presentation was Article 24 of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. Follow this link to read the entire document. It’s part of the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Library.

This is Dr. Johnson’s letter explaining what happened to him:

It’s important that people know what Article 24 of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam says. Here’s what it says:

ARTICLE 24:

All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah.

It’s equally important to know what Article 22 says:

ARTICLE 22:

(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah.

1. Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah.

(c) Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical Values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.

(d) It is not permitted to excite nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form or racial discrimination.

In other words, all rights are tied to whether people speak ill of the Prophet or whether they speak well of the Prophet. The key principle to take from one of Islam’s foundational documents on human rights is that human rights aren’t extended to people who don’t accept the Prophet’s teachings.

The key point to take from this ‘human rights document’ is that it doesn’t square with the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Specifically, it doesn’t square with the First Amendment. Finally, the key point to take away from Kevin Johnson’s story is that he was terminated by CentraCare less than a week after he’d given this presentation.

Never forget Dr. Johnson’s final admonition:

CentraCare has decided to value political deference to Islam over patient access to health care. That should frighten everyone.

That’s political cowardice on CentraCare’s part.

There’s no question that people are resistant to change. They appreciate the familiar, which is why it’s difficult, if not impossible, to change things that are broken. Sometimes, though, a dramatic shake-up is exactly what’s needed. The colonists knew that in the 1770s. There are lots of angry activists in the 21st Century who wonder if it isn’t time for another revolution.

This op-ed, which I linked to in this post, highlights the fact that the “council has broad authority, including the ability to levy taxes” but that the governor is their primary constituent. In the colonists’ times, they started a revolution. One of their chief rallying cries was “No taxation without representation.”

According to Dictionary.com, the definition for No taxation without representation “became an anti-British slogan before the American Revolution; in full, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” I can’t disagree with that last sentence. Taxation without representation is tyranny.

This paragraph especially stands out:

The mayors in their commentary suggested that elected city and county officials could not handle the workload or think “regionally” while representing both their municipality and a Met Council district.

There’s a simple explanation for these mayors’ preference. They want their initiatives to get rubberstamped and put into place ASAP. What politician enjoys the mess that’s created when making sausage? The Met Council is a mayor’s dream. They get their wish list enacted without having to cut deals with uppity peasants.

This nation’s Founding Fathers understood the appeal of mob rule. That’s why they designed a system filled with checks and balances. They wanted to thwart entities like the Met Council. They wanted the system to be messy because efficient governments are usually out-of-control governments that don’t pay attention to the citizenry, aka the uppity peasants.

Here’s the lengthy list of elected officials that signed onto this op-ed:

Scott Schulte is an Anoka County commissioner. Chris Gerlach is a Dakota County commissioner. Jeff Lunde is mayor of Brooklyn Park. This commentary was also submitted on behalf of the following local government officials. County commissioners: Rhonda Sivarajah, Matt Look, Julie Braastad and Robyn West, Anoka County; Tom Workman and Randy Maluchnik, Carver County; Liz Workman and Nancy Shouweiler, Dakota County; Jon Ulrich, Scott County, and Jeff Johnson, Hennepin County. Mayors: Mark Korin, Oak Grove; Kelli Slavik, Plymouth; Jim Adams, Crystal; Jeff Reinert, Lino Lakes, and Dave Povolny, Columbus. City Council members: Jim Goodrich, Andover; John Jordan, Brooklyn Park; Jeff Kolb, Olga Parsons and Elizabeth Dahl, Crystal; Dave Clark and Jason King, Blaine; Brian Kirkham, Bethel, and Bill Krebs, Columbus.

The time for a dramatic reform of the Met Council is at least a decade overdue. Further, there’s never a good time to give government the authority to raise taxes without giving people the authority to boot the bums out of office.

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This op-ed, written by an Anoka County commissioner, a Dakota County commissioner and the mayor of Brooklyn Park, highlights what’s wrong with the Met Council.

Their op-ed opens by saying “four suburban counties and 41 cities across the Twin Cities area have passed resolutions contradicting the group of mayors who wrote ‘Tweaks’ are, in fact, the best model for Met Council” (May 9), defending the current model of gubernatorial control of the Metropolitan Council.”

The next paragraph says “Those mayors argue that the current model is working well, needing only a few changes to the appointment process, and that any move away from gubernatorial control is ill-advised and impractical. They give the impression that counties and cities are working in a ‘highly responsive’ partnership with the council.”

I don’t know who those mayors are but if they think that the Met Council is “highly responsive” to the people living in the 7-county metro, then they aren’t fit for duty because they’re either incredibly dishonest or they’re stupid. This paragraph encapsulates things perfectly:

The council has broad authority, including the ability to levy taxes, charge fees and set regional policy. Cities and counties are the entities most directly affected by decisions of the council, making them the council’s primary constituents. Yet appointment of council members resides solely with the governor, effectively making the governor the primary constituent.

What part of that sounds like the Met Council is responsive to the citizens living within their authority? The Met Council will always be more responsive to the governor than to the citizenry because he’s the person who can hire or fire them. That’s a system that could be called ‘whatever the governor wants, the governor gets’. The last I looked, our system of government was built on the consent of the governed.

The Met Council is built on the principle of governing without the consent of the governed and the principle that there be the power to tax without representation. Here’s a revolutionary concept:

Many cities and counties believe that the council lacks accountability and responsiveness to them as direct constituents and that the authority to impose taxes and set regional policy should be the responsibility of local government elected officials.

This is what the reformers want:

We support reform that adheres to the following principles:

  1. ?A majority of council members shall be elected officials, appointed from cities and counties within the region;
  2. ?Metropolitan cities shall directly control the appointment process for city representatives to the council;
  3. ?Metropolitan counties shall directly appoint their own representatives to the council;
  4. ?The terms of office for any members appointed by the governor shall be staggered and not coterminous with the governor’s;
  5. ?Membership shall include representation from every metropolitan county government, and
  6. ?The council shall represent the entire region; voting shall be structured based on population and incorporate a system of checks and balances.

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The buzz coming from the St. Paul echochamber is all about Gov. Dayton’s soon-to-be-released transportation ‘compromise’ legislation. Ricardo Lopez’s post offers a glimpse into the fictitious drama.

The drama started when Lopez wrote “How to fund the state’s transportation needs over the next decade has emerged as the linchpin for any global agreement to come together in the final week of the legislative session.” Then it escalated when he wrote “Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration is working over the weekend to craft what he is calling a last-ditch compromise to at least partly address billions of dollars in needed road and bridge work.” (emphasis added)

A “last-ditch compromise” wouldn’t be needed if the DFL didn’t insist on another middle class tax increase again. Chairman Kelly’s plan, which Chairman Kelly outlined in this statement, would generate “$3.078 billion over the next ten years” without raising taxes.

Dutifully, Lopez quoted Gov. Dayton as saying that “Transportation will be the tipping point. If that falls apart, I don’t know that we can pull the rest of it together. On the other hand, if we pull that together, I think the framework can be there for the other pieces.” Theoretically, reporters are supposed to ask questions, something Lopez apparently didn’t do. For instance, Lopez didn’t ask why raising taxes is the key when raising taxes didn’t work in 2008.

This isn’t complicated. In 2008, the DFL, with the help of the Override 6, pushed through a major tax increase. I predicted in this post that it wouldn’t be enough because that “bill focuses mostly on transit.”

Further, the DFL had total control of the legislature and Mark Dayton was the governor in 2013-2014. They could’ve raised taxes at any point during that time but didn’t. If raising taxes was the right thing to do, why didn’t they raise taxes then? Wasn’t the DFL interested in doing the right thing then?

The DFL raised the gas tax a nickel a gallon in 2008. Jim Oberstar praised it. Ditto with Steve Murphy, Larry Pogemiller and Tarryl Clark. In fact, Steve Murphy was proud of the tax increases then:

I’m not trying to fool anybody,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, sponsor of the measure that would increase funding for roads and transit by $1.5 billion a year once it was fully implemented in the next decade. “There’s a lot of taxes in this bill.”

Sen. Murphy was right. There were a ton of taxes in Sen. Murphy’s bill. Despite that fact, the DFL insists that there’s a funding shortfall. If that’s the case, why should we settle for another DFL-sponsored tax increase?

The gas tax increase won’t fix the problem. It would lift money from the taxpayers’ wallets. That isn’t a solution. That’s a rip-off.

Rep. Paul Thissen is the chief DFL spinmeister in Minnesota’s House of representatives. He’s also incredibly dishonest. Friday morning, he was joined by House Deputy Minority Leader Erin Murphy and Rep. Melissa Hortman to spin their attacks against the MnGOP.

I knew they weren’t interested in substantive discussions when Rep. Hortman said “The legislative agenda is geared toward attack literature. We have a $900 million surplus, $500 million ongoing. We certainly could reach a deal on a bonding bill that’s in the middle. We could do a responsible transportation bill. But then they lose the campaign issue of ‘Republicans stopped a gas tax.'”

Rep. Hortman, people can’t take the DFL seriously when they’re advocating a $1,800,000,000 bonding bill and the GOP is proposing a $600,000,000 bonding bill. If that $1,800,000,000 bonding bill passed, it would be the biggest bonding bill in Minnesota history by $750,000,000. It’s nearly double the size of the next biggest bonding bill.

Further, it’s impossible to do a “responsible transportation bill” when the DFL and Gov. Dayton are advocating major middle class tax increase. The DFL has made clear that they won’t consider Tim Kelly’s transportation. Chairman Kelly’s plan, which he wrote about here, would create a Transportation Stability Fund that would raise an additional “$3.078 billion over the next ten years” for fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges.

Apparently, that isn’t sufficient for the DFL.

Under this proposal, the State of Minnesota would repurpose revenue that is already being collected from existing sales taxes on auto parts, the Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax, the rental vehicle tax and the sales tax on rental vehicles. By placing these revenue streams, estimated at $3.078 billion over the next ten years, in a newly created Transportation Stability Fund, Minnesota would not only provide new money for roads and bridges statewide, but also for small city roads, bus services in Greater Minnesota, suburban county highways, and metro area capital improvements.

Making this change would dedicate $1.44 billion for county roads, $583 million for municipal roads, and $282 million for roads in towns with fewer than 5,000 residents.

In addition to the dedicated funds provided by the Transportation Stability Fund, the proposal would also utilize $1.3 billion in Trunk Highway bonds, $1.2 billion from realigning Minnesota Department of Transportation resources, $1.05 billion in General Obligation bonds, and $228 million in General Funds.

Rep. Hortman spoke about the attack ads that she thinks have already been written on the transportation issue. I hope they have been written because it’s time to criticize the DFL for not accepting an offer that would fix Minnesota’s roads and bridges without raising taxes. If Rep. Hortman wants to whine about how the GOP is offering Minnesotans the type of transportation that they favor, that’s her right.

It’s also great advertising for Tim Kelly’s proposal.

House Deputy Minority Leader Erin Murphy joined in the chorus:

We’ve all done that together. And these last weeks can be very intense as you’re moving your agenda through using the rules and the procedures of course that are in place. I don’t feel that urgency at all in this House leadership in the Minnesota House of Representatives and I think that we’ve been hearing more from the Republican leadership about who’s to blame for the failure of this session than we’re hearing anything about what they’re going to do to actually accomplish what they said they would do for the people of Minnesota.

There shouldn’t be a rush to finalize a bad deal. The DFL’s transportation proposal and the DFL’s bonding bill are terrible deals.

Further, the DFL hasn’t said anything substantive about why they’re rejecting Chairman Kelly’s transportation proposal. They’ve said that it takes money out of the general fund but everyone knows that’s a scam. The DFL doesn’t want that money dedicated because they want it available so they can keep spending irresponsibly.

Watch the entire DFL dog and pony show here (if you can stomach it):

After publishing this post regarding MnSCU’s implicit approval of Inver Hills Community College President Tim Wynes and after seeing the level of financial mismanagement within MnSCU, I realize that I haven’t asked the most important question regarding the financial stewardship of MnSCU’s Central Office and its colleges and universities.

Specifically, since the MnSCU Board of Trustees has sat silent on MnSCU’s operational incompetence and its financial mismanagement, and since the legislature has essentially stuck its collective head in the sand in its attempt to ignore SCSU’s declining enrollment and multi-million dollar annual deficits, a basic question must be asked ASAP.

What’s the legislature’s, the Dayton administration’s and MnSCU’s definition of a financial crisis? Do these politicians and executives have a definition for a MnSCU crisis? If they have one, I definitely haven’t seen proof of it.

Rather than just highlight MnSCU’s and the legislature’s incompetence and indifference, I’ll take the time to connect the dots since MnSCU and the legislature aren’t interested in connecting them.

Over the last 6 years, St. Cloud State has lost $8,700,000 on Coborn’s Plaza. Since FY2014, SCSU’s annual financial deficits have been in excess of $5,000,000. In fact, it’s well in excess of that. Meanwhile, MnSCU submitted a supplemental budget request this session for an additional $21,000,000. It isn’t difficult to figure it out that a significant portion of that amount is heading to St. Cloud State as a bailout.

Here’s a video promotion of Coborn’s Plaza:

Taxpayers shouldn’t be viewed at ATMs to fund MnSCU’s financial mismanagement. Instead, politicians, whether they’re found in the executive branch or the legislative branch, need to start putting political pressure on these ineptocrats and corruptocrats. They’re taking the taxpayers’ money and, for all intents and purposes, they’re lighting their cigars with the taxpayers’ money.

That’s just the purely financial side of MnSCU’s dysfunctional operation. That’s before examining the operational side of MnSCU’s operation. What does it say about Inver Hills’ ethical standards when a professor is the subject of a witch hunt of an investigation and nobody criticizes the people conducting the ‘investigation’ for not disclosing any information?

In 2013, then-Speaker Paul Thissen bragged about the DFL legislature making historic investments in education, which I wrote about in this post. What Thissen didn’t say is that the DFL made historic investments in accountability. Apparently, accountability isn’t something that the DFL believes in when it comes to their political allies.

It’s time to throw the DFL so far out of power that they won’t mistreat taxpayers for a decade or longer. Further, it’s time for a wholesale housecleaning at MnSCU.

It’s time to ask the DFL and MnSCU what their definition of a crisis is. MnSCU’s history of financial and ethical mismanagement has been disgusting. The legislature has been as disinterested as MnSCU in terms of accountability.

Finally, it’s time that citizens get outraged about how they’re getting abused by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.

Apparently, MnSCU, aka Minnesota State, approves of Inver Hills’ witch hunt tactics. First, some information is required so people can appreciate what’s happening. Last academic year, Dave Berger led the effort to hold a no-confidence vote against Inver Hills President Tim Wynes. That vote passed.

That’s just the start of things. Berger has been placed on paid leave while Inver Hills ‘investigates’ Dr. Berger. He’s also banned from campus while this ‘investigation’ is being conducted. While on paid leave, Berger “was named ‘Faculty Member of the Year’ in late April by the faculty development committee.” With that information in hand, now you can appreciate where this thing gets weird. (As though it wasn’t weird already. LOL)

From the time that Berger was put on paid leave, “school leaders began investigating the complaint. Details of the inquiry have not been made public, but Berger, a leader of the faculty union, suspects it has to do with his work to organize a no-confidence vote against college President Tim Wynes. School leaders have denied the investigation is related to Berger’s union activity and said the inquiry is continuing. They did not respond to a request for comment regarding Berger’s faculty member honor.”

Inver Hills insists that this doesn’t have anything to do with Berger’s union activities but they won’t talk about the ‘investigation’. That isn’t surprising considering MnSCU’s penchant for being as transparent as a rock. (Yes, MnSCU is a separate entity but the groupthink is identical.)

If the MnSCU Board of Trustees isn’t willing to hold college and university executives’ feet to the fire, and they haven’t been willing, they need to be dissolved ASAP. If they’re letting university and college presidents run roughshod over faculty without threat of punishment, then the Trustees don’t act as anything more than a rubberstamp for the executives.

That’s the fastest path to disaster imaginable. When executives can do whatever they want because they’re confident that they won’t get disciplined, accountability disappears.

It’s time for legislators to start taking this stuff seriously. Tens of millions of dollars get flushed down the toilet because university and college presidents aren’t held accountable. That’s unacceptable.

It’s totally predictable that Wendy’s is establishing self-service ordering kiosks. It’s predictable because liberals insisted that the minimum wage be increased to $15/hour.

When the $15/hour proposal first started taking off, conservatives and economists predicted that this would happen. Hardline progressives ignored these predictions. Thanks to their policies, unemployment in this part of the service industry will increase significantly.

Wendy’s President Todd Penegor “said company-operated stores, only about 10% of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5% to 6%, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage ‘to access good labor.'” It won’t take long before youth unemployment spikes. That’s the predictable outcome in this situation.