My Jury Has Been Chosen

As I believe many of you know, I do a lot of work with WWII veterans via the 8th Air Force Historical Society MN Chapter. (By the way, we are the largest, continually meeting chapter in the world, every Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.,Marion Hall, Knights of Columbus, Bloomington MN. Come join the vets!)Many times I’ve wondered what these guys thought and think about  the current state and drift of government . I’ve said that somehow I don’t believe they fought, were wounded and died for the EPA and the “rights” of the snail darter and sexual harassment law suits because a picture of a man’s wife on his desk creates a “hostile work environment” as encoded in state and federal law.

Bill Whittle has a new “Afterburner” that I’ve found particularly interesting. Please look at it, then, if you would, continue on to read my follow-up comments:

My mother has done a lot of genealogical work on the family. In one of her three ring binders, I discovered that three of my relatives (my great-great-great-great grandfather, his son and his brother) fought in the Revolutionary War. They lived in a small town in New York named and founded by that branch of my family, Sammonsville, New York. As I read through more of the family lines, I found that two of my relatives fought for the Union in the Civil War: one was killed in Kentucky in 1862 and another was captured and was held as a prisoner-of-war in Atlanta. Closer still to me was my Uncle Harold, who was a combat infantry captain at the Battle of the Bulge. And closer yet-I have lunch with 90+ year old combat veterans that allow me to call them by their first names.

And so, in light of Bill Whittle’s challenge, what would my defense be to my jury? And their families? My family?


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And Now, 5 Very Simple Questions

A couple of years back as I was watching Fox News on a Sunday morning before heading off to church, Liz Trotter came on. In her segment she was talking about the economic crisis, quantitative easing, stimulus, General Motors, etc. She then asked five very simple questions that I would wager have never crossed the mind of the vast majority of American voters of either party. They were questions about monetary policy, Congress, the Federal Reserve. And their elementary simplicity belies their profound insight. I wrote them down and offer them now:

  1. How much money does the Fed have? (I would think this question could apply to both the Federal Reserve and Congress).
  2. Where does it come from?
  3. Who decides what to do with the money?
  4. Who is responsible for oversight? Checks and balances?
  5. How much money does the government have left?

Most people may have thought about one, maybe two of these questions in passing, but never in a serious reflection of the significance of what folds in their wallet, jingles in their pocket or purse or what that magnetic strip on the back of a piece of plastic really means to what they do, earn, buy and eat everyday.

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State Central / JD1 Documents

You may be here because you wanted to find or found the documents on JD1 and the constitutional/Rules questions.

If you need the documents they are here:

Short Version:

Long Version:

We used to update this blog but have not for a while.


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150 Years Ago Today and Extremely Desperate Men

150 years ago today, as the Civil War was in its second year, here, in Minnesota, a small band of men who had been lied to, stolen from, cheated and deceived took desperate measures rather than see their wives and children starve any longer. It was 18 August, 1862 in southwestern Minnesota that what was called The Great Sioux Uprising started. A little less than four years ago I wrote about the plight and the terrible outcome that the Dakota suffered at the hands of the very same government they foolishly trusted and came to be totally dependent on. And the Dakota peoples, many who were innocent and saved many whites from their enraged brethren, suffered mightily because of the treachery of the Federal government and its agents. The Star Tribune has had a pretty good series on Chief Little Crow and his leadership. The start was in Little Crow’s vision that he accurately saw that there was a coming flood of white settlers and what that future looked like for his tribe. So, he decided to strike as good a bargain as possible while times were not in hostile conflict. And the treaties were signed. And the chain of events started. What I find interesting is in the irony that the Star Tribune misses in the series on Little Crow and the sesquicentennial of the Great Sioux Uprising. They see it as an article on the mistreatment of Native Americans (I also am a Native American was born here in America) which it is. I agree wholeheartedly that not only the Sioux/Dakota but other tribes were treated despicably. What the Star Tribune, with all its leaning left/ the only bad government program is defense, what the Strib misses entirely is the cause for the Great Sioux Uprising- the failure and danger of relying on the government. That agents and bureaucrats can and do wantonly and capriciously use the power of their office (TSA stories anyone?). The Strib sees the trees and entirely misses the forest. Here is my original article from 2008:

Please click on the below image and look over the map, drawing your attention to the area dated 1851. Look at the incredible area outlined. Just eyeballing it, it appears to be about 1/2 of the entire current area of the state of Minnesota.

When I was in sixth grade, we studied Minnesota state history, including the Treaty of Travers de Sioux which was signed just north of what is now St. Peter. Five years ago I was coming back from a gun show in St. Peter and decided to stop by the Treaty Center. As I walked in, I saw a similar map on the wall next to a copy of the treaty signed in 1851. The price for the ceded area was $1,650,000. Works out to be about 7¢ an acre. The government then went ahead and sold it at $1.25 an acre to the white settlers. This infuriated the signers of the treaty and ruined their reputations in the tribes (more on that in a bit). Oh, and the Sioux never received the full amount (further reputation destruction if not outright hostility to whites. By destroying the reputation of these men, the government had eroded if not destroyed its ability to reason with and within the various tribes). I remember thinking, as I read that last statement “Yup. They did it to you and they doing it to us also.The only thing that’s changed is time and they’ve gotten better at their craft.”
One of the provisions in the treaty was that the Sioux on their reservations be able to have access to their traditional hunting grounds. The Senate, however, changed the treaty more than once (on all treaties here). The Senate eliminated the reservations set aside. It then insisted that the tribes accept the new provisions or there would be no more monies paid. The tribes were desperate for food, goods and the money promised by the treaty having abandoned the land. Millard Fillmore agreed that the tribes could occupy what had been the original reservation land until ” it was needed for white settlement.” In 1858 the Sioux who lived along the Minnesota River were pressured to cede their land also. They did and were granted reservations called the Upper and Lower Sioux Agencies. Without access to their traditional hunting grounds, they were forced to depend on the government for their very sustenance (anyone see a warning flare here?). The Upper and Lower Sioux Agencies contained incredibly rich farm land and one the agents said that the land was being settled with “great rapidity”. Surprisingly enough, the landowners and Indians were very fond of each other for the most part. It was the agents who ran the warehouses that were the problem. Payments to the Sioux were usually late. Goods and services were denied or were sold by the agents to those outside the agencies. However, after a failed crop in 1861, by 1862, the Sioux were incredibly desperate. They were starving. One agent, who when the Sioux came to him pleading their case, was quoted as saying “Let them eat grass and dung!” The Sioux had reached a breaking point and rebelled in what is called “The Great Sioux Uprising“. The aforementioned agent was found dead. His mouth had been stuffed with grass.
The white settlers ran for towns, starting with New Ulm. Many made it. Many did not. Years ago I was in a very small town in SW Minnesota called Currie. In preparation for a pig roast, my friends from Curry and I went out of town to pick sweet corn (I was admonished, as a city boy, that I had wandered into and was picking the field corn). My friend Paul asked me if I knew where I was. “Outside Currie, trying desperately to distinguish between sweet and field corn?” He said,”This area is called Slaughter Slough. This where a number of white settlers who were trying to get to New Ulm were caught and killed in the Great Sioux Uprising”. I was standing on blood soaked ground. Fifteen settlers had been killed where I stood.
After cessation of hostilities, there was a trial for over 300 of the tribal members. Well, not really a trial. It was a military tribunal, many times having no witnesses, no legal representation or explanation of the charges. Many were summarily convicted and sentenced to death within five minutes. President Lincoln reviewed the sentences and commuted all but 38 of the convicted. They were executed enmass on this day in Mankato in what is still the largest mass execution in the United States. I remember travelling down highway 169 as a child with my Mom and Dad on the way to visit my grandparents in SW Minnesota. One time we went through downtown Mankato, across the river to the east side near the railroad underpass. As we stopped, I looked out the window. There was a plaque that read on this spot 38 Indians were hanged as a result of the Great Sioux Uprising. That plaque has been removed.
Those hangings took place on this day, 26 December 1862, 146 years ago.
And so I reflect on this day about men who were starving, desperate, watching their children suffer, who had been lied to, cheated on, deceived by that very same government they depended on, when men who were left with no alternatives took action.


One thing more: when I read how the Senate changed the treaty it reminded me of two Supreme Court decisions: There does not, repeat , does not exist a contract between the government and citizens concerning Social Security. Two Supreme Court decisions.
So, when you hear politicians say how “we need to honor the contract we have with the American public” remember: no, they don’t. No, they haven’t.
And , if needed, they can and are perfectly willing do to you as they did to the Sioux and Dakota fifteen decades ago.
So, hang in there…so to speak.

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1 person or 3 now rule America

As I read and listen to the oral arguments before SCOTUS, I am reminded of something that occurred to me on the D.C. vs Heller decision in June 2008: That decision went 5-4 with Justice Kennedy again being the swing vote. But, my concern was why on earth wasn’t it 9-0? The language is clear. The framers and the anti-federalists who wrote the Bill of Rights needed to be clear, precise and unambiguous using the language of the time. My lands, the Constitution was and is a contract that established a nation and how it was to be run!! 5-4? And some of the tortured logic from the minority justices!! Well, here we are with the 3 men/women running the country and my freedom is down to one of those. 

The 3: one person in one house of Congress that makes a majority, POTUS to sign the bill making it law, and one justice on SCOTUS to find it constitutional. And that is where we are in ObamaCare: one senator to push it over, Obama to sign it into law, and now we await the decision of one, just one SCOTUS justice to make it 5-4 reversing the lower court and the republic ends. As Justice Scalia asked where is the limit to the broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause end? Where is its boundary? Can Congress declare we all will buy certain cars, cell phones or that we take vitamins each day and be required to take random urine tests to ensure compliance. Why not? After all, isn’t it for our own good, personal responsibility and freedom be damned!

I sincerely fear for the republic.                                                                                                                                                           



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Local Article of Savage Council Spending

I am a columnist for the local paper.

Here is the article I wrote for the Savage Pacer

Community Voices: City should stop playing funding games

Most of my older columns are available if you search.


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Robert's "Robert's Rules" Q&A

After last few conventions, have had a few people ask me about learning Robert’s Rules.

So I figure I will do a few post ever now and then on Rules and questions that people have.

Feel free to use comments to ask any Rules.

First up: Passing of Rules at a convention.

Q: Can rules be passed with just a majority vote?

A: It depends. They follow same rules as motions.

You can not pass a rule that normally would take a 2/3 vote to pass if offered as a motion with just a majority, the rule also takes 2/3.

A classic example are any rules limiting debate.

If the rules limit debate, then the rules must pass with 2/3 vote if offered as a whole or if offered in sections, those sections concerning debate would have to pass with 2/3 vote.


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SD51 Election Results – Soon

I will post a link to the SD51 Delegate election results as soon as I have them available.

Thanks you again for letting me chair your meeting.

Update: Looks like facebook page is up

Update: Delegate Results are posted on Facebook


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56A CD/State Delegate Elections

Results for 56A CD/State Delegate Elections.  D = Delegate, A# = Alternate and Rank.

I will post link to official site once I know what it is.

Here is link to Facebook Page for SD56

(Click Picture to enlarge)


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The next time you hear – Tax the Rich

The next time you hear someone say “We need to tax the rich, they are not paying enough”.  “We need to tax those super rich they don’t pay enough”

No need to go into to details about how many people don’t pay any taxes or the burden that those who actually pay income taxes pay.

Just ask if they have ever heard of anyone who was hot with the IRS AMT.

This was the last time we tried the “Just Tax the Rich” they created the Minimum Tax which would only impact 155 people.

Today the total is over 600,000. Most with income of $200,000 or less (that we be what we call small business owners).

And of course those Rich they were trying to tax. They just set up trust funds like Governor Dayton’s so they can avoid taxes all together.

The rich can always afford to find ways to shelter or defer income, thus the reason the Warren Buffetts of the world call for these taxes. They know they are not going to impact them.


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