As yet more proof of the complete lunacy of “gun free zones” and the truly delusional argument that society would be safer if all the law abiding citizens were stripped of firearms by a totalitarian government, guess who just stopped the Minnesota mall murderer over the weekend? A man with a concealed gun.
By 6:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, more than 675,000 digital signatures appeared on 69 separate secession petitions covering all 50 states, according to a Daily Caller analysis of requests lodged with the White House’s “We the People” online petition system.
Fourteen states are represented by at least two competing petitions. The extra efforts from two states — Missouri and South Carolina — would add enough petitions to warrant reviews by the Obama administration if they were combined into petitions launched earlier.
Two down. 48 to go until Meredith Whitney is proven correct beyond a reasonable doubt. After New Jersey was forced to reach out to JP Morgan for an emergency bridge loan a few days ago, it is Minnesota’s turn. From ABC: “Minnesota’s government has shut down, ahead of the holiday weekend, for the second time in six years after state leaders failed to find common ground on resolving a $5 billion budget deficit. Thousands of state workers will be laid off, state parks will be shuttered, the issuance of fishing licenses will be halted and the Minneapolis zoo will be closed. Road projects will also grind to a standstill just as people hit the road for the holiday. A midnight deadline passed without an agreement as talks between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and top Republicans unraveled over Dayton’s proposal to impose taxes on the state’s top earners, a move on which top GOP officials have refused to budge…Some programs that will continue unabated include critical services including the State Patrol, prisons, disaster response and federally funded health, welfare and food stamp programs.” Granted this is not a first: “Only four other states — Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee — have had shutdowns in the past decade, some lasting mere hours. Minnesota’s government partially shut down under then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2005 over a budget fallout.” However, if NJ is any indication, as predicted, expect ever more states to bypass the municipal route of funding, and appeal directly to commercial banks. Which will generously provide as much Fed-generated one and zeros…in exchange for 80% LTV collateral of course.
A midnight deadline passed without an agreement as talks between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and top Republicans unraveled over Dayton’s proposal to impose taxes on the state’s top earners, a move on which top GOP officials have refused to budge.
“It’s significant that this shutdown will begin on the Fourth of July weekend,” Dayton said in a news conference late Thursday night. “On that date we celebrate our independence. It also reminds us there are causes and struggles worth fighting for.”
In a complaint filed Monday morning in the U.S. District Court for Minnesota, Ventura is suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its secretary, Janet Napolitano, as well as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and its administrator, John Pistole.
Ventura accuses the agencies of violating his “basic rights to privacy and dignity, and his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures,” after he received a pat-down by a TSA agent at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in November 2010.
Ventura, who said he has a titanium implant after hip replacement surgery in 2008, alleges the pat-down included “warrantless, non-suspicion-based offensive touching, gripping and rubbing of the genital and other sensitive areas of his body,” which, the lawsuit contends, met “the definition for an unlawful sexual assault.”
Ventura’s Minneapolis-based attorney, David Olsen, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS this afternoon, “The security procedures are going too far. There’s a line somewhere and he believes that line has been crossed.”
Olsen said Ventura no longer flies on commercial aviation because he is unwilling to submit to either a pat-down or a full-body scan, putting his job as host of cable television’s Conspiracy Theory show, in jeopardy.
“He’s made a decision that someone needs to make a stand and he’s not one to back down from a fight,” said Olsen. “He sees the erosion of civil liberties here and he’s willing to stand up not only for himself, but for others.”
MINNEAPOLIS – Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, alleging full-body scans and pat-downs at airport checkpoints violate his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Ventura is asking a federal judge in Minnesota to issue an injunction ordering officials to stop subjecting him to “warrantless and suspicionless” scans and body searches.
The lawsuit, which also names Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA Administrator John Pistole as defendants, argues the searches are “unwarranted and unreasonable intrusions on Governor Ventura’s personal privacy and dignity . and are a justifiable cause for him to be concerned for his personal health and well-being.”
According to the lawsuit, Ventura received a hip replacement in 2008, and since then, his titanium implant has set off metal detectors at airport security checkpoints. The lawsuit said that prior to last November officials had used a non-invasive hand-held wand to scan his body as a secondary security measure.
But when Ventura set off the metal detector in November, he was instead subjected to a body pat-down and was not given the option of a scan with a hand-held wand or an exemption for being a frequent traveler, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said the pat-down “exposed him to humiliation and degradation through unwanted touching, gripping and rubbing of the intimate areas of his body.”
It claims that under TSA’s policy, Ventura will be required to either go through a full-body scanner or submit to a pat-down every time he travels because he will always set off the metal detector.
Ventura, who was Minnesota governor from 1999 through 2002 and is now the host of the television program “Conspiracy Theory,” did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
In jail for being in debt – You committed no crime, but an officer is knocking on your door. More Minnesotans are surprised to find themselves being locked up over debts.
Deborah Poplawski still gets angry about her arrest in Minneapolis last year over an old $250 debt. During her night in jail, she worried about abandoning her 15-year-old dog, Nina, in her apartment.
As a sheriff’s deputy dumped the contents of Joy Uhlmeyer’s purse into a sealed bag, she begged to know why she had just been arrested while driving home to Richfield after an Easter visit with her elderly mother.
No one had an answer. Uhlmeyer spent a sleepless night in a frigid Anoka County holding cell, her hands tucked under her armpits for warmth. Then, handcuffed in a squad car, she was taken to downtown Minneapolis for booking. Finally, after 16 hours in limbo, jail officials fingerprinted Uhlmeyer and explained her offense — missing a court hearing over an unpaid debt. “They have no right to do this to me,” said the 57-year-old patient care advocate, her voice as soft as a whisper. “Not for a stupid credit card.”
It’s not a crime to owe money, and debtors’ prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found.
Not every warrant results in an arrest, but in Minnesota many debtors spend up to 48 hours in cells with criminals. Consumer attorneys say such arrests are increasing in many states, including Arkansas, Arizona and Washington, driven by a bad economy, high consumer debt and a growing industry that buys bad debts and employs every means available to collect.
Whether a debtor is locked up depends largely on where the person lives, because enforcement is inconsistent from state to state, and even county to county.
In Illinois and southwest Indiana, some judges jail debtors for missing court-ordered debt payments. In extreme cases, people stay in jail until they raise a minimum payment. In January, a judge sentenced a Kenney, Ill., man “to indefinite incarceration” until he came up with $300 toward a lumber yard debt.
“The law enforcement system has unwittingly become a tool of the debt collectors,” said Michael Kinkley, an attorney in Spokane, Wash., who has represented arrested debtors. “The debt collectors are abusing the system and intimidating people, and law enforcement is going along with it.” Continue reading »
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota is deep in the hole financially, but the state still owns a premier golf resort, a sprawling amateur sports complex, a big airport, a major zoo and land holdings the size of the Central American country of Belize.
Valuables like these are in for a closer look as 44 states cope with deficits.
Like families pawning the silver to get through a tight spot, states such as Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois are thinking of selling or leasing toll roads, parks, lotteries and other assets to raise desperately needed cash.
GOP lawmakers are pushing to privatize the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the state lottery. Both steps require a higher authority – federal legislation in the case of the airport, a voter-approved constitutional amendment for the lottery. But one lawmaker estimated an airport deal could bring in at least $2.5 billion, and the lottery $500 million.
At least 29 states plus the District of Columbia, including several of the nation’s largest states, faced an estimated $48 billion in combined shortfalls in their budgets for fiscal year 2009 (which began July 1, 2008 in most states.) At least three other states expect budget problems in fiscal year 2010.