This whole shutdown thing isn’t going quite as they planned. Several problems are arising in Governor Mark Dayton and the progressive/socialist wing of the Democratic Party’s plan to starve out the Minnesota population with a government shutdown. First, the economic pain envisioned by Dayton isn’t happening. Second, we are finding ourselves with a 'government by fiat' situation instead of a democratic republic. Finally, Minnesotans are taking the situation at hand and dealing with it which upsets all their apple carts at once. The narratives are being dismantled and the memes are washing away.
Desperate for stories about human misery and Republican perfidy, the crack reporters of the DFL’s favorite pamphleteers at the StarTribune ran around the state looking for problems. Since there weren’t any GOP mobs assaulting the homeless, they came up with some interesting case studies.
Stocked His Freezer with Canned Goods
Strangely enough most people weren’t terribly upset by the extra day off before a long 4th of July weekend. Undeterred, they reported this laid off uncritical state employee as saying, "My frustration and my anger are very, very high," Yaeger said. "In the near future, we move to rage."
Yaeger, who has stocked his freezer with canned goods and meat, said jokingly that he's now accepting free dinner invitations from friends.” ‘Feeling effects at home, in wallet,’ by Kelly Smith, Richard Meryhew, and Warren Wolfe, Startribune.com, July 2, 2011.
My goodness. So this 53 year-old training coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health is so upset with the extra day off he’s moved to anger that could become rage. This doesn’t sound like a very stable person especially with him putting his canned goods in a freezer. Perhaps he believes without state government his canned goods will spoil and so he needs to double protect them. Either that, or he really like frozen beets on a stick in this hot weather.
Regardless, the stories get even more bizarre. There is a couple in Coon Rapids and the husband was laid off from his uncritical state engineering job. “The couple started the day by pulling their 2-year-old from day care. For a time, he'll stay at Mike's parents' house to help save money. Meanwhile, Heidi has set aside her "dream job" as a self-employed photographer to seek a second job.” How desperate are the StarTribune reporters for a story that they come up with this remarkable tale. Mike Mendiola has been laid off until Dayton sees reason. They both know the state government will go back online sometime, but in the mean time they have to cope.
How are the Mendiolas coping? They pulled their 2 year old from day care to stay with Mike’s parents. Why the hell isn’t Mike just taking care of his child? What would you need day care for if you’re home and laid off from work. So what if poor Heidi has to look for a real job. Quite frankly, these supposed tales of woe just make me more furious that we have 23,000 able-bodied Minnesotans soaking up millions of dollars in tax revenue on uncritical jobs and whining about having to take care of their own children.
This is ridiculous. I know that Kelly Smith, Richard Meryhew, and Warren Wolfe were supposed to find people traumatized by Dayton’s Shutdown but this borders on a mockumentary in its effect.
Government by Fiat (Not the car company. That might be better)
Yesterday I listed off the noncritical items that were shutdown in Minnesota’s state government. Quite a list of nonessential services I think. These nonessential services were selected by dictator, er Judge Kathleen Gearin, Chief of the Ramsay County District Court. From the StarTribune, Times News Service, June 24, 2011, ‘Judge will likely decide next week on Minnesota government operations in event of shutdown.’ They reported this:
“Although the Minnesota Constitution says, “No money shall be paid out of the treasury of the state except in pursuance of appropriation by law” -- meaning passed by the Legislature -- Swanson argued that the U.S. Constitution contains an overriding requirement that the state cannot “deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”
So, our Attorney General argued that our state constitution requires the legislature to appropriate money unless it conflicts with her opinion on the other parts of the U.S. Constitution. In other words, “no money” really means “unless it’s inconvenient to the Democratic Party patronage system.” Swanson argues there are facets of state government which simply have to operate otherwise we’ll just be dying in the streets and public unions will not get their take of the public funds.
Gearin agreed and made an arbitrary laundry list of noncritical parts of the state government which could ‘safely’ be shutdown. But, she decided to appoint a ‘special dictator, I mean, ‘master’ to review her arbitrary laundry list and allow funding to flow to vital services like rest areas for the incontinent and fireworks displays for the blind.
July 2, 2011, ‘Agencies make pitches for continued funds,’ by Star Tribune’s intrepid Mike Kaszuba reports:
“All took their seats before Kathleen Blatz, a former state Supreme Court chief justice appointed as a special master to hear the pleadings. Blatz promised to have her first recommendations as early as Sunday.
In some instances, she said she had heard enough. "I thought they made a strong argument here today that they were" a critical state service, Blatz said after Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services made its case.”
Congratulations Minnesota. You’ve got yourself a tyranny. Thank the heavens we have someone as distinguished and accomplished as Kathleen Blatz to decide where we need to spend money and what social programs are worthy of our tax dollars. It’s not like we have a political branch charged by our CONSTITUTION to decide these things. NOOOOOOO. Now we’ve got ourselves a benevolent dictator to decide for us. Does anyone really believe this glorified legal bureaucrat, once a state supreme court judge, is going to carefully decide funding based on public discourse? Of course not. That’s the new Undemocratic Party way, brought to you by the Prog/Soc wing of The Party.
Just as an amuse bouche of the kinds of testimony Minnesota’s ‘special master’ heard on Friday, we were treated with this.
"I don't mean to scare you," said Julie Tate of Minneapolis, who sat before Blatz in a wheelchair and lobbied for state funding for Vail Place, a community-based mental health program serving 1,700 adults in Hennepin County. "[But I] feel suicidal most of the time."
Well, if you’re feeling suicidal, then let’s pull out the checkbook. It’s not like it’s any skin off Kathleen Blatz’ nose. So what if she decides to fund a mental health program without public comment. If someone threatens suicide then we HAVE to fund their program. I mean, if someone uses extortion, we have to fund them, right?
This is the nature of our policy making today. We have abandoned all reason when it comes to public funding of anything. The pain of cancer has been equated with the pain of ‘Mommmm, he looked at me funny.’ We no longer rationally evaluate public needs but simply cave to the most incessant whiner. Everybody gets a place at the public trough. That’s why we are all in the dilemma we face both in Minnesota and on the national level.
Robin Hood Visits Minnesota Parks
On the morning talk show on KTLK, former gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, the Republican endorsed candidate, gave a shout out to Minnesota residents. He told them to walk around the closed gates at Minnesota parks and enjoy the scenery. Sheriff of Nottingham Mark Dayton was hoping that closing the parks on a long 4th of July weekend would make the people of Minnesota angry. It did, but not at the Republican-led legislature.
In ‘'Closed' doesn't deter park visitors,’ Larry Oakes in July 2, 2011’s Star Tribune writes, “The gate was closed and the visitors center was locked, but hundreds of travelers still enjoyed the scenic splendor of Gooseberry Falls on Friday - even though all state parks are officially off-limits to the public as part of the government shutdown.” It seems many people are taking Emmer’s advice. Instead of meekly accepting the official park notices, visitors are streaming into Minnesota parks to enjoy the scenery and the beauty the state boasts about.
State officials weren’t too happy. However, dragging eleven year old girls kicking and screaming out of a nature area doesn’t exactly present a positive picture of our state governmental officials. Instead, the prog/soc’s issued grave warnings of peril.
“The state Department of Natural Resources, which manages state parks, is strongly advising visitors "not to enter the grounds of any state park during the shutdown." The agency's website offers this warning: "We are concerned about serious health, safety and security issues if visitors enter parks when there are no restroom facilities, water and staff available. For example, 911 calls might not be available due to lack of cell phone coverage."
Oh no!!! Can you imagine the horror of hiking through a park without a park staff member on hand to collect their entrance fee? What are visitors going to do without having a rest room or water readily available? It’s not like we have things like convenience stores and bottled water to rely on. Oh no. But my favorite little part of this warning is the cell phone coverage threat. Are they trying to suggest that cell phones rely on state government park facilities to operate? Are they really trying to scare people from visiting a park because Google might not be available? Did cell phone coverage suddenly become more sketchy because we aren’t collecting the permit fees?
This kind of ‘theater of the absurd’ isn’t unique to this shutdown. People in Minnesota are used to the nonsensical argument routinely pressed by our prog/soc officials. That’s why people are visiting the parks even though Sheriff Dayton has warned them away.
This entire experiment by the Left and the Democratic Party in Minnesota is instructive. We are watching them spin and lie and fabricate and without any real effect. They were so desperate to raise taxes on ‘the rich’, they were willing to give up all reason and sense to do so. We are now seeing just how worthless and wasteful these social experiments really are. We are starting to see that employing tens of thousands of state workers to push paper is stupid. We are watching as the existential threats of a government shutdown are all air and no substance. Antiseptic sunlight is exposing the hidden costs of liberal ideas. It’s time to start cutting. Not just because we can’t afford this mess, but because it goes to the very heart of our society and culture. If we are willing to give up governing to special dictators and reason to political patronage, we are rapidly moving in a very scary direction.
It’s time to dissect the whole operation, throughout the country.
Crossposted at Looktruenorth.com