The NARN Closer - 07/05/2015

Regardless of the date, we always celebrate the greatness of America on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. I will be in my usual two-hour time slot for The Closer, beginning at 1:00 PM Central Time.

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Fight the urge

The Department of Health and Human Services has given you a homework assignment:

This Fourth of July, families across the nation will gather around hot dogs (or their favorite vegetarian alternative) and potato salad to spend some quality time together, watch fireworks and reflect on the holiday’s meaning. But as much as we love our families – and we do, seriously –we don’t always agree when it comes to current events, like last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding tax credits that help make insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) more affordable for millions of people.Misinformation about the ACA is everywhere, and there’s been a lot of money spent to spread that misinformation – as much as half a billion dollars in ads, according to one 2014 estimate. Not surprisingly, many Americans still don’t know how changes the law made to insurance and the health care system can help improve their lives.You should be prepared when Aunt Janine says something like, “Obamacare hasn’t helped anyone!” So here are a few points to remember during this long holiday weekend:

In the interest of familial harmony, here are a few points I'd suggest instead:

  • Don't talk about Obamacare
  • Have a bratwurst and an icy cold beverage of your choice
  • Enjoy the fireworks
  • Go out and take a nice day trip somewhere if you'd like
  • Take some pictures of the family not talking about Obamacare
  • Don't talk about Obamacare
Happy 4th, everyone!

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And a word from Calvin Coolidge

President Calvin Coolidge rose to the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Indepence on July 4, 1926, with a speech providing a magisterial review of the history and thought underlying the Declaration. His speech on the occasion deserves be read and studied in its entirety. In light of the destruction wrought last week by our robed masters, let us consider especially the following brilliant paragraph. Like Lincoln’s explication of the meaning of July 4, Coolidge’s words remain as relevant now as then:

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

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Reagan vs. Obama

Recently, President Obama’s sympathizers have tried making the case that he’s as consequential as Ronald Reagan. If they define consequential as doing historic things that are disastrous, then President Obama has been consequential.

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Peak Vox: The American Revolution was a mistake, you know

Generally, I’m not one to hammer on outlets as a whole, although some — Salon comes to mind — seem to use trolling people with ridiculous premises as their entire marketing strategy. Vox has its moments like this, although they also recently hired the estimable Jon Allen as a political editor to shore up their credibility. However, it’s essays like today’s “3 Reasons the American Revolution was a Mistake” two days before Independence Day that provide most of Vox’s reputation for intellectual heft. Well, it’s those and that West Bank to Gaza Bridge that inspired Sonny Bunch to offer “The Year in Voxfails” at the Free Beacon, along with the supposedly longest winter night ever that wasn’t.

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Men not at work

The new unemployment rate announced this morning was 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent last month. The AP story is here; the Bloomberg story is here. The economy is said to have added 223,000 jobs last month, but the decline in the unemployment rate is, as usual deceiving. The decline in the unemployment rate reflects the continuing decline in the labor participation rate: “The participation rate, which indicates the share of the working-age people in the labor force, [fell] to 62.6 percent, the lowest since October 1977, from 62.9 percent” (Bloomberg). “The result is that the proportion of Americans working or looking for work fell to a 38-year low” (AP). Thirty-eight years takes us back to 1977, the unhappy dawn of the Age of Carter.

Via Geoffrey Norman/Weekly Standard.

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Doctors Orders

If you’ve had a checkup over the past ten years, you may have noticed your doctor (or their nurses) asking you or your kids if there are any guns in the house.

It is, of course, part of a politically-motivated campaign to a) try to compile “public health” data attacking our right to keep and bear arms, and b) an attempt by left-leaning medical organizations to use the prestige of the medical profession to bully people out of owning guns.

I’ve always answered “No”. I figure “backdoor to registration”.

Turns out there may be a better approach to take. 

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The eternal meaning of Independence Day

On July 9, 1858, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas gave a campaign speech to a raucous throng from the balcony of the Tremont Hotel in Chicago. Abraham Lincoln was in the audience as Douglas prepared to speak. Douglas graciously invited Lincoln to join him on the balcony to listen to the speech. 

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Are they winning?

"Living in fear is no way to live your life. Bullies, terrorists, cold blooded murderers, need to be taken care of, and quickly..."

If we accept the definition of "terrorism" as the ability to inflict terror in someone or a group of people, the Jihadists might just be winning. It is rare to turn on the news, read the paper, or browse the internet without seeing brazen acts or threats against us being made by these people. And all I have been hearing all week long is the heightened alert status we are in for our Fourth of July celebrations.

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In Effect, Y’all

All the effort from this past session paid off starting yesterday. The five new gun bills passed this past session are now in effect:

  • Governor Flint-Smith may not order firearm confiscations during states of emergency.  To me, this is the big daddy of ’em all.
  • Minnesota is now one of forty states that is compliant with Federal law regarding suppressors (aka “Mufflers for your Gun”, an accessory that is mandatory for hunting in some countries) and purchasing of long guns in non-contiguous states – both areas where Minnesota lagged federal law by three solid decades.
  • Also – on August 1, it’ll be legal to use suppressors while hunting.
  • Now, your carry permit is valid without any additional muss and fuss at the Capitol complex – the Capitol (not that you can get in there), the SOB, the SLOB (when it opens), the Supreme Court, the Minnesota Historical Society, and probably a few more buildings I’m forgetting.
  • Finally, our carry permits are now reciprocal with more other states.  No more stopping at gas stations in Moorhead or East Grand Forks to transfer something that’s legal in Minnesota but a gross misdemeanor in North Dakota from your pocket to your trunk.  So says a friend of mine.

This is all to the good.  But the question is – what next?

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The establishment strikes back

This NY Times article falls squarely into the GOP establishment’s wheelhouse:

After Mr. Walker moved to support Iowa’s prized ethanol subsidies, abandoned his support for an immigration overhaul and spoke out against the Common Core national education standards, his pointed tone on marriage caused some Republicans to ask publicly whether he is too willing to modify his views to aid his ambitions.

“It seems like pollsters gone wild,” said Scott Reed, a longtime Republican strategist and top adviser to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, discussing Mr. Walker’s call for a constitutional amendment. To Republicans like Mr. Reed, Mr. Walker appears increasingly willing to lose the general election to win the primary.

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