Tags: Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Ben Swann, bias, City Pages, Jeff Johnson, John Gilmore, Liberty Minnesota, Media, Rachel Stassen-Berger, Star Tribune
Has anyone ever asked the leftist cabal known as the Alliance for a Better Minnesota what their titular vision entails? What would make Minnesota a better place to live, work, and pursue happiness?
We might begin to decipher their vision by examining what they oppose. For instance, when they took the effort last week to smear Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson for attending an event hosted by a political action committee which seeks “to return our state to the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty,” we might assume they oppose those principles. When they base their attack on a blatant misrepresentation of an invited speaker advocating for truth in media, we might assume they oppose that as well. Apparently, the “better Minnesota” ABM prescribes would emerge from unlimited government, constricted commerce, blanket tyranny, and lies broadcast throughout.
Certainly, no shortage of lies emerged from ABM and their eager media accomplices after Liberty Minnesota (the aforementioned PAC) hosted Ben Swann (the aforementioned speaker) at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Policy on September 13th. Copying and pasting from an ABM press release, City Pages writer Aaron Rupar shamelessly used the phrase “Alliance for a Better Minnesota reports,” as if deferring to a journalistic colleague rather than a partisan political organization. Rupar began:
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota is petitioning to demand that Hennepin County commissioner and 2014 MNGOP gubernatorial hopeful Jeff Johnson apologize for attending a 9/11 truther event held last Friday at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Surely, were the occasion a “9/11 truther event,” it would have included some discussion of “9/11 truth.” Yet, by all accounts, no such discussion occurred aside from headliner Ben Swann briefly addressing allegations related to his coverage of the “truther” phenomenon. Both during his address at the Humphrey School and earlier that day during a local radio appearance, Swann denied being a “truther.”
Those facts did not dissuade Minnesota Conservatives blogger John Gilmore from running wild with false accusations. Gilmore reportedly attended the event, and therefore stands uniquely liable for misrepresenting its content and participants. Gilmore’s personal disdain for the liberty movement within the Republican party has been a dominant theme of his work, offering arguments which routinely rest upon the fallacy of guilt by association. City Pages eagerly echoed Gilmore’s misrepresentation, aiding ABM under the guise of journalism.
Such shenanigans may be par for the course wherever these perpetrators operate. However, the smear campaign gained undue credibility when joined by Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In a post for her Hot Dish Politics blog, Stassen-Berger added to the misrepresentation of Swann’s work. She wrote:
Swann has also attracted controversy for breathing life into conspiracies ‘rethinking’ the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, questioning the ‘official narrative’ of lone shooters in recent mass shootings and an alternative explanation for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Apparently, reporting on events which have occurred and considering them from multiple perspectives breaths life into conspiracies; because nothing says truth to power more forcefully than echoing press releases.
Utilizing the same logic employed by ABM, John Gilmore, City Pages, and the Star Tribune, the latter two publications clearly endorse “9/11 truth” on account of their running ads from Rethink 9/11, the same “truther” campaign which Swann reported on. Right? Or, is it possible that a publication could include content which does not necessarily reflect the views of its stakeholders? Certainly, a partisan smear group like ABM cannot be reasonably expected to acknowledge so obvious a principle and apply universal standards in their conduct. But any publication aspiring to the category of journalism must. Ironically, that is Swann’s entire point.
Edward R. Murrow once said in testimony to Congress:
To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful. It is as simple as that.
Ben Swann operates by that creed, and was invited to Minnesota by an organization which shares it. Lost in ABM’s manufactured controversy is any consideration of that message, of the value of truth, and the growing advocacy for individual rights in our state. One might wonder why an organization purporting to ally toward a better Minnesota seeks so desperately to draw attention from those topics.
Tags: Bill Paulsen, Bylaws, Congress, constitution, David Gerson, Election, Endorsement, John Kline, Keith Downey, Matt Erickson, mngop, Party, Paul Tuschy, Republican Party of Minnesota, Walter Hudson
by Walter Hudson – August 26, 2013
The Great T-Shirt Rebellion of 2013 seems a title of appropriate grandeur for an inflated controversy splintering the liberty movement within the Republican Party of Minnesota and causing much rabble in the Second Congressional District. Social media caught fire over the weekend, and an online petition has formed asking state party chair Keith Downey to apologize after refusing to allow a challenger to Congressman John Kline to campaign from the MNGOP state fair booth.
Over the weekend, activists Paul Tuschy and Matt Erickson showed up to work a volunteer shift at the booth, each wearing campaign t-shirts promoting David Gerson for Congress. Gerson ran against the party’s endorsement in 2012, challenging incumbent John Kline. Fulfilling his fiduciary responsibility to protect the party’s brand, Chairman Downey asked Tuschy and Erickson to turn their Gerson campaign shirts inside-out while representing the party at the booth. Were that as far as the story went, it would hardly merit a mention.
Activists often become their own worst enemy. Not understanding how things work or – worse – insisting that things ought to work differently, activists tend to flail about in episodic tirades, wasting energy where it cannot reasonably be expected to advance their cause.
Those of us who learn the lay of the land and engage in party politics nonetheless tend to revert to our protest roots when we meet with significant resistance. For example, we may caucus for a particular candidate, only to write off the entire process if that candidate is not endorsed. Or we may work to advance a particular issue, only to write off anyone who does not give it the same priority we assign it. Protest pumps through an activist’s veins, and the impulse to throw down and make some noise can often overwhelm rational political work.
Tags: homeschooling, News, Racism, school choice, WCCO
WCCO News at 10 was busy Wednesday night jockeying to deploy more force in your home, business, and school. In their ‘Good Question’ segment, they attempted to answer why Minnesota has one of the worst achievement gaps between white and black students. After stating that there was no simple answer, they offered one anyway – a lack of “civil rights laws.” Don’t be fooled by the connotation. “Civil rights” mean more government telling you what you can and can’t do.
How about we give people more options? How about we look at school choice? Let’s empower minorities along with everyone else in this state with control over their education dollar. It has the virtue of expressing faith in our neighbors, rather than the cynicism inherent in WCCO’s rush to accuse us all of racism.
Tags: Jason Lewis, Opinion, tom emmer, Walter Hudson
by Walter Hudson – Real Capitol View – June 10, 2013
Tom Emmer’s announcement that he will run for Congress in Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District to succeed the outgoing Michele Bachmann has set the standard for those who may follow. It is therefore no wonder why so many rumored candidates have taken their names out of the running around the same time. Speaking on my own behalf, other candidates have their work cut out for them if they hope to divert my support from Tom. His entry makes the choice very easy against nearly any opponent – with the possible exception of Jason Lewis.
Rumored to be seriously considering a run, Tom’s Twin Cities News Talk colleague would present much the same appeal and divide loyalty among a shared base of supporters.
Tags: Alex Jones, Alice Walker, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theory, David Icke, Film, Movies, science fiction, The Matrix, The Red Pill
by Walter Hudson – PJ Media – June 6, 2013
The Matrix may have inspired an entire generation of conspiracists. We sometimes forget the impact of a particular moment in our popular culture. The success of The Matrix was that no one saw it coming. Though the concept of virtual reality and computer simulations had long been weaved throughout science fiction, the Wachowski brother’s uniquely plausible presentation captured the mainstream imagination.
The allure of the red pill, of knowing a terrible truth and boasting an esoteric righteousness from the knowing, haunted many moviegoers long after the credits rolled. The film’s imagery and lexicon went on to permeate the various truther movements which gained popularity in the following decade.
Often portrayed as heroic, innocent, kooky, or haphazardly correct, conspiracists are actually dangerous. After all, what we accept to be accurate knowledge informs both our actions and our emotional responses. By refusing to accept plain facts and insisting upon indulging unsubstantiated fantasy, conspiracists in effect become willful psychotics, consciously rejecting reality.
Tags: Democrats, dfl, Legislative Session, Overreach, Republicans
by Walter Hudson – Real Capitol View – May 28, 2013
The Soviets had the good sense to wall in their East Berlin citizens, knowing that freedom of travel to the West would deprive the communist regime of both political face and individual slaves. Years since the Evil Empire’s implosion, we have seen efforts to erect virtual Berlin Walls here in the United States.
One prominent example was the 2011 National Labor Relations Board harassment of Boeing relating to the aerospace manufacturer’s business decision to move part of its operation from union-dominated Washington state to right-to-work South Carolina. An eventual deal was struck allowing Boeing to act at least partially upon its corporate judgment in exchange for placating the union in Washington with a cozy contract extension. Despite its resemblance to extortion, we were assured by supporters of Big Labor that the action served social justice.
Tags: Equality, free association, gay marriage, HF 1054, law, marriage, Senate, SF 925, Teresa Collett
by Walter Hudson – Fightin Words – May 12, 2013
I address this open letter to all Minnesota state senators in hopes that you will lend it your thoughtful consideration.
Tradition holds that the upper house of a bicameral legislature employs greater restraint than the lower house when considering changes to established law. While the House typically reflects the shifting passions of the people, the Senate was conceived as a more deliberate body. With that in mind, I ask you to soberly anticipate the long-term and wide-ranging effects of passing SF 925, which would expand the state’s definition of marriage to include same-sex unions.
Despite the admirable attempt by my state representative from Albertville, Republican David Fitzsimmons, to strengthen the religious exemption in the house file, the bill as passed and its companion in the Senate do not adequately protect individuals of religious conscience. The religious exemption proves both narrow and fragile, limited to non-profits engaged in undefined religious activity. The exemption explicitly does not cover secular business activity. This likely means that individuals of religious conscience engaged in private business will not fully enjoy their moral right to free association.
A fascinating drama continues to play out in Texas, where local Republicans recently rejected the application of a highly accomplished volunteer for precinct chair on account of his being gay. So report activists close to the situation, including Republican Liberty Caucus national chair Dave Nalle who issued a press release Saturday “expressing concern and dismay.”
At a time when the party nationwide is working to clean a tarnished image and embrace inclusiveness, for the second largest county party in the nation to reject a qualified applicant solely because he is openly gay sends exactly the wrong message to the constituencies the party needs to reach.
Commentator David Jennings details the qualifications of the applicant at the center of the hubbub, Chris Busby. Continue Reading Decision Time for the GOP: Build or Die…
Tags: Boston Bombing, Boston Marathon, Conservativism, Dina Temple-Raston, Examiner, NPR, Terrorism
by Walter Hudson – Fightin Words – April 19, 2013
Adolf Hitler was born in April. NPR counter-terrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston cites that as one reason she believes this month attracts domestic terror from “right-wing individuals.” Joe Newby covers her remarks for Examiner:
“April is a big month for anti-government and right-wing individuals,” she said.
“There’s the Columbine anniversary. There’s Hitler’s birthday. There’s the Oklahoma City bombing. The assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco,” she added.