"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Al Gore is a hipocrite!


Nashville Electric Service/Gore House

High 22619 kWh Aug – Sept
Low 12541 kWh Jan - Feb
Average: 18,414 kWh per month

High 20532 Sept - October
Low 12955 Feb - March
Average: 16,200 kWh per month

Bill amounts
2006 – $895.60 (low) $1738.52 (high) $1359 (average)
2005 – $853.91 (low) $1461 (high)

Nashville Gas Company
Main House
2006 – $990(high) $170 (low) $536 (average)
2005 – $1080 (high) $200 (low) $640 (average)
Guest House/Pool House
2006 – $820 (high) $70 (low) $544 (average)
2005 – $1025 (high) $25 (low) $525 (average)

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization, issued a press release late Monday:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

For Further Information, Contact:
Nicole Williams, (615) 383-6431

Floor Statement by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum

As we all know, our elected officials at the federal level spent an exorbitant amount of time debating a non-binding resolution meant to undermine our President, and the morale of our troops. This, according to Senator Murtha's plan, will eventually lead to a slow bleed of the resources needed to fight the war in Iraq. No more supplies or reinforcements or funding. Forcing an end to our involvement in Iraq. Remember that when we left Vietnam millions died.

The Democrats say that they too "Support the Troops." But can such undermining activities such as this truly support them? I believe that this has become nothing but an empty slogan for them and they will do and say anything it takes to bring down our President. Nothing else matters to them. Not you. Not me. Not our national security. Only whatever it takes for them to stay in power.

I heard someone ask last Saturday why I may call someone "Evil." To me, all it takes is the lack of respect Miss McCollum has for our constitutional rights. For instance, last year she voted against making it illegal for police and National Guardsman to confiscate law abiding citizens firearms during a national disaster. Remember hurricane Katrina? This very thing happened in New Orleans. Thankfully the NRA filed suit and had this put to a stop. Also, she voted for federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and then voted "no" for funding for other types of stem cell research. As is well known, no research yet has yielded positive results from embryos. All positive results so far have been from nothing but adult stem cells. It's embryos or nothing for Betty.

God bless Michelle Bachman!!

Anyway, here it is. the floor statement from Betty. She can sling it with the best of them, but one thing you can be assured of, she will vote the party line every time. It's as if she has no mind of her own.

Floor Statement by U.S. Representative Betty McCollum
in Support of "Surge Disapproval"
Iraq War Resolution (H Con Res 63)
(To be delivered on the floor of the U.S. House between 10:00 and 11:00 pm EST)
Madam Speaker, there is no more important issue facing our nation than the prolonged, painful and deadly war in Iraq. Next month, America's courageous and determined troops will start year five of combat operations inside Iraq. as Iraq continues to deteriorate into a failed state of endless killing, President Bush has decided to not only stay the course, but to escalate America's combat presence.
The resolution we debate tonight puts Congress in step with the American people in rejecting the president's escalation of the war. this resolution supports our troops and sends a clear message to President Bush that he is increasingly isolated in believing that Iraq's future can only be salvaged by sending more Americans into their civil war.
Let us remember that year five in Iraq will start with over 150,000 U.S. troops in the midst of an Iraqi civil war. Year five in Iraq will start with 2600 Minnesota National Guardsmen and women who have already served and sacrificed for a year being ordered to serve an additional four months of duty. Year five in Iraq starts with over 3100 American troops having sacrificed their lives and nearly 24,000 troops having sacrificed their bodies.
To all our veterans and their families, I offer my prayers and pledge my support in the difficult months and years ahead. With a true sense of humility, respect an admiration for the service and the sacrifices you and your families have endured -- thank you.
Our troops have always done their jobs with skill, determination and courage.
Now, it is time for the elected leaders of this nation to respond with, courage, skill and forethought to the challenges presented in Iraq.
It is time for the people of Iraq, the diverse ethnic group, religious sects and tribal leaders, to decide whether their future is to be one of on-going murder, revenge and civil war or reconciliation peaceful cooperation, and security.
It is time to end Iraq's dependence on U.S. troops and to fully transfer responsibility for security and governance to the Iraqis.
It is time to start the process of bringing American troops home--safe and soon.
It is time to bring this war in Iraq to an end.
Achieving peace in Iraq will require an Iraqi political solution. Peace will require robust, active and tireless diplomacy from the United States in partnership with Iraq's neighbors and the entire world community. This Congress has the opportunity and the obligation to advance a foreign policy vision rooted in the belief that Iraq's future requires a shared global commitment.
Tomorrow, Congress will pass this bipartisan resolution. This resolution is important because it is the second step in putting the White House on notice. The first notice was delivered to President Bush by the American people last November when they elected e new majority to Congress. The American people elected this new majority because the wanted this very debate to take place, because they rejected the "stay the course" status quo in Iraq.
Instead of hearing the American people, instead of acting on the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, instead of learning from his past mistakes in Iraq, President Bush decided to escalate the war. Rather than take the counsel and advice of experienced statesman and tested military leaders, President Bush acted alone and decided to escalate the war.
Now, our president calls himself "the decider." But, in America, the people, not the president, are the ultimate deciders. And, the people and this Congress have decided the escalation of combat troops into Iraq is misguided.
This Congress has the authority and the obligation to hold the president accountable and this House is ready to exercise its constitutional powers.
The American people are demanding action to end the war in Iraq. Let us listen to the people. Tomorrow, let us pass this important resolution and begin thew process of working together, as Americans, to end the war in Iraq.
Madame Speaker, I yield back my time.

Sticking to Minnesotan issues that matter

I am reprinting this letter to the editor of the South West Review newspaper. It was written by Ted Trenzeluk of Inver Grove Heights. He is a fellow Republican and I am proud to say that he is a supporter of mine.

Sticking to Minnesotan issues that matter

To the editor:
Democrats swept into the State Legislature this past election cycle with a promise to focus on issues important to Minnesotans, things like education, health care, and property tax reform to name a few. Theses issues are important and should be priority one for our legislators. However, in a quick review of the activities of one of our local legislators, Rep, Rick Hanson (DFL-South St. Paul), I'm puzzled to see how most of the bills he authored this session fit this supposed mandate. A sampling of bills he's authored include: A bill that would make it illegal to posses firewood on DNR lands if it was not approved by newly created inspection criteria managed by state commissioners (H.F. 1016); state funding of a study and regulation of contractors who uses sponges and other antimicrobial devices to get rid of mildew (H.F. 402); A tax checkoff that would allow a portion of tax refunds and/ or increased taxes to pay for sesquicentennial parties in MN towns (H.F. 1009); and a bill to mandate bathroom breaks and other "rights" for meat packers, as well as creation of another state position to monitor these (H.F. 643). I'm sure many bladders across the state are appreciative of Mr. Hansen's efforts, but I'm still wondering how all this fits into the important issues like education, health care and taxes that Mr. Hansen promised to address when elected last fall. You may think I'm picking on Mr. Hansen by calling out only select bills to make my point. Unfortunately, I was at a loss to find even one bill that he authored that had anything to do with "priority one" issues. Time to get to work Mr. Hansen and focus on issues important to the residents of your district.

Ted Trenzeluk

Inver Grove Heights

See my post dated Wednesday, February 14, 2007 titled "The week for Rick Hansen." H.F. 643 is unacceptable. It is redundant. Several years ago, the Federal Government made it mandatory that a person may take a bathroom break as needed without fearing any repercussions from their employer. Also, it requires the establishment of the position of a meatpacking industry workers rights ombudsman in the Department of Labor and Industry. But the real zinger here is this, "An employer must provide an explanation in an employee's native language," and this is under penalty of law!

I strongly believe in a national language of English!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Betty McCollum's Town Hall Meeting

On Saturday, February 24th, Congresswoman Betty McCollum was at the Wentworth Library with Representatives Rick Hansen and Joe Atkins. It was the usual small turn out for such an event. It is one of my complaints that too many people just do not care to show up. We are all in this together people! Remember, we get the government we deserve!

So far this year, it is the second time Senator James Metzen has not blessed us with his presence despite being included in the events of the day. Remember that he was to be at Town Square Television's show, "Capitol Call In?" Both events, no Metzen.

Anyway, Miss McCollum did most of the talking. She loved using the word "bipartisan." This was in reference to Ramsted the RINO, and what she called "moderate Republicans," or those Republicans that have been voting along with the Democrats. I am positive that Michelle Bachman was not included in her thoughts on what "bipartisan" is. She also praised Pawlenty for his support, and the "bipartisanship" for the new Energy Bill."

One subject that came up was "Early Childhood Education." I must say that I am much more in favor of all day Kindergarten than any kind of education funding for three and four year old kids. During this discussion, a lady claimed that future estimates for the construction of prison cells are determined by 3rd grade reading skills tests. Now that's something to ponder over. According to Rick Hansen, funding for early childhood education will be increased this year, but not as much as in some previous years. He also claimed that all day kindergarten is moving forward.

When it was my turn to speak up, I mentioned that I had read John McCain's book "Faith of My Fathers." I told of how Senator McCain's military blood line goes back to ancient Scotland. That his ancestors fought on both sides of the Civil War. That his Grandfather was on the ship in Tokyo Harbor where Japan formally surrendered. That he spent time in the Hanoi Hilton. I said that I had recently read up on U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson's beliefs, and that he too had served in the Korean, and Vietnam wars and that he too had spent time in the Hanoi Hilton as a POW. I said that of the Vietnam Vets in the room, I am sure that they are well aware of the millions that were killed after we pulled out of Vietnam, and that such a thing must be avoided at all costs with Iraq. I mentioned how both McCain, Johnson, and myself consider it a waste of time and effort to pass a non-binding resolution that does nothing but undermine our troops. To this McCollum said "next." She did not even blink. Zip. Nothing. No comment.

I used this moment for a little theatrics.I took my lunch box along to this little get together. When I was given the chance, I said that there were many people here in the room that worked hard their whole lives and that we carry lunch boxes to work. I brought it along to show our elected officials how the working folk of district 39 get by. That we don't get $96.00 a day for lunch money, (per diem as it is called to them).

I felt like the lone wolf. That I was the only Republican in the room. That maybe I was out of place or that I should not have bothered showing up. It was a learning experience for me. I realize that I should be a little more diplomatic about some of the things I do and say. When it was time for me to leave, I could not stay past 11:30, I got up to go and a woman sitting next to me put her hand on my arm and said "thank you for coming today." That made it all worth while for me.

Polar bear politics

Here is an article that I recently read. It sheds some light on the global warming scare.

As a result of a lawsuit filed by environmental groups, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said that the polar bear might be listed as a"threatened" species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Such a move might severely restrict oil and gas development in the Artic and could mean stricter greenhouse gas emission regulations for autos, because the ESA mandates certain property restrictions. Kempthorne said, "We are concerned that the polar bears' habitat is melting" due to global warming. But when asked if the polar bear is disappearing Interior spokesman Hugh Vickery said not yet. Actually according to the Polar Bear Study Group, a coalition of countries with polar bear populations, there is a stable population of 20,000-25,000 polar bears in the wild today. In 1950 there were only an estimated 5,000. The lawsuit, and polar bear-extinction paranoia, are the result of a single study on polar bear populations in the Hudson Bay region, which evidently has declined by 250 bears.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


McCarthy Bill Bans Millions More Guns Than The Clinton Gun Ban
On Feb. 14, 2007, Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 1022, a bill with the stated purpose, "to reauthorize the assault weapons ban, and for other purposes."
McCarthy's verbiage warrants explanation. Presumably, what she means by "assault weapons ban" is the Clinton Gun Ban of 1994. Congress allowed the ban to expire in 2004 for multiple reasons, including the fact that federal, state and local law enforcement agency studies showed that guns affected by the ban had been used in only a small percentage of crime, before and after the ban was imposed.
With the nation's murder rate 43% lower than in 1991, and the re-legalized guns still used in only a small percentage of crime, reauthorizing the Clinton Gun Ban would be objectionable enough. But McCarthy's "other purposes" would make matters even worse. H.R. 1022 would ban every gun banned by the Clinton ban, plus millions more guns, including:
. Every gun made to comply with the Clinton ban. (The Clinton ban dictated the kinds of grips, stocks and attachments new guns could have. Manufacturers modified new guns to the Clinton requirements. H.R. 1022 would ban the modified guns too.)
. Guns exempted by the Clinton ban. (Ruger Mini-14s and -30s and Ranch Rifles; .30 cal. carbines; and fixed-magazine, semi-automatic, center-fire rifles that hold more than 10 rounds.)
. All semi-automatic shotguns. (E.g., Remington, Winchester, Beretta and Benelli, used for hunting, sport shooting, and self-defense. H.R. 1022 would ban them because they have "any characteristic that can function as a grip," and would also ban their main component, called the "receiver.")
. All detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles-including, for example, the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22 .22 rimfire-because they have "any characteristic that can function as a grip."
. Target shooting rifles. (E.g., the three centerfire rifles most popular for marksmanship competitions: the Colt AR-15, the Springfield M1A and the M1 "Garand.")
. Any semi-automatic shotgun or rifle an Attorney General one day claims isn't "sporting," even though the constitutions of the U.S. and 44 states, and the laws of all 50 states, recognize the right to use guns for defense.
. 65 named guns (the Clinton law banned 19 by name); semi-auto fixed-magazine pistols of over 10 rounds capacity; and frames, receivers and parts used to repair or refurbish guns.
H.R. 1022 would also ban the importation of magazines exempted by the Clinton ban, ban the sale of a legally-owned "assault weapon" with a magazine of over 10 rounds capacity, and begin backdoor registration of guns, by requiring private sales of banned guns, frames, receivers and parts to be conducted through licensed dealers. Finally, whereas the Clinton Gun Ban was imposed for a 10-year trial period, H.R. 1022 would be a permanent ban.
Please be sure to contact your U.S. Representative and urge him or her to oppose H.R. 1022!
You can call your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121.

Scared Stiff-Worried in America

I was watching 20/20 last night and I was impressed that they actually reported the fact that if your child went to someones house with a swimming pool, or a home with a gun in it, the risk of injury or death was 100 times greater at the home with the swimming pool.

Maybe the media should start covering swimming pool accidents more closely.

Friday, February 23, 2007

H.R. 1022: To reauthorize the assault weapons ban

We have a new enemy out to infringe upon our constitutional rights! We must act to not allow this from happening again!

Mrs. MCCARTHY of New York introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

This Act may be cited as the `Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007'.

This is one we had better keep our eyes on. Here is a link to the text,


Wednesday, February 21, 2007


There will be a benefit for Gladys Reyes on Saturday, February 24th at the Brown Derby, 567 Stryker Ave. with the Social Hour and Raffle starting at 2:00 pm. Mexican dinner 3-6pm. Tickets are $10.00. Gladys is the eleven year old girl who was dragged by a car for nearly a half mile in W. St. Paul. She has been in the hospital for several weeks now, and her family has no insurance. Please show up and show her family your support.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Join Jason Lewis' Tax Cut Coalition

Follow the link below and join the Jason Lewis' Tax Cut Coalition. Remember, there is power in numbers. United we stand!


Press Release from Rep. Laura Brod

FEBRUARY 19, 2007
ST PAUL - Following several hours of debate, the Minnesota House has approved legislation that accelerates Minnesota's renewable energy standards. There was bi-partisan support for the bill, but the process was particularly flawed. State Representative Laura Brod (R-New Prague) said she was disappointed that the House Democratic leaders decided to debate the bill in the evening when most Minnesotans wouldn't be as available or paying as much attention.
Typically, evening floor debates aren't held until the end of session, when many bills are returning from House-Senate conference committees. Brod said this evening session was done to punish Republicans.
"The Democrats are complaining that Republicans are wanting to debate the bills that are coming forward and are proposing too many amendments to the bills, so as punishment, they changed the floor session time to force time pressures due to a late hour that is outside of the typical floor session," Brod said.
"What they don't seem to understand is that we're not trying to waste time; we're only trying to improve what we see as flawed legislation," Brod continued. "Every lawmaker can and should offer amendments that they believe will make a bill better. Once again, the Democrats have an 'all or nothing legislative approach.' They seem to think that the definition of bi-partisan is when we agree with them, but when we disagree they claim that we are being partisan rather than debating the merits of the bills. It is unfortunate that they are not allowing Republicans to help improve the legislation that is being brought to the house floor."
While it appears that the Democrats seem to think that holding night sessions early in the year will deter Republicans from speaking up, but it won't. By not holding floor sessions during the day at regularly scheduled times, they're telling the average Minnesotan to not take an interest in their state government - and what a sad message that is. "We should be encouraging the open and honest debate so that the bills that are enacted into law are as good as they can be." Brod concluded.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Celebrate your Kiester

Here is another one from a list of bills that have been introduced by democrats so far this session

"Celebrate your Kiester"
Rep. Rick Hansen (D-39a) wants to create tax check-offs for individuals or corporations to dedicate unlimited portions of their refunds or increase their taxes to pay for the upcoming sesquicentennial parties in Minnesota towns, such as Kiester. (House File 1009)

Study the sponges

This comes from a list of bills that have been introduced by democrats so far this session

"Study the sponges."
The Democrats want you to pay for a state study of the regulation of contractors who use sponges and other anti-microbial devices to get rid of mildew. House file 402 has been offered by Rep. Rick Hansen (D-39a)

Check out this blog

I was informed of this blog while I was at the Republican Leadership Summit today. You can check it out at,
This is run from the folks in 50b.

Friday, February 16, 2007

New help with my blog

I have the great pleasure of getting a contributor to this blog by the name of Mark Mohr. He will be posting words of wisdom along with me. Mark is wise and pithy about politics here in district 39 and you can count on him to be an asset to the cause. Welcome Mark!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The week for Rick Hansen

This is from Rep. Rick Hansen's email update and it tells us what he is up to this week. The "Meatpacking Bill of Rights" seems inocent enough untill you read it and find out that this looks like he is trying to give special priveledges to illegal immegrants. It seems that it would give them the right to sue an employer as well. This bill also makes a request for the establishment of the position of a meatpacking industry workers rights ombudsman in the Department of Labor and Industry. This is an ubsurd and redundant bill which duplicates many, many present workers rights laws that are already in effect both at the state and federal levels. It also creates new government jobs. More of our tax dollars to be wasted.

You can look at these bills at,


Type in the bill number and all the info will come up.


On Friday, HF 643 will be heard in Rep. Davnie's Labor and Consumer Protection Committee at 10:00 AM in Room 5 of the State Capitol. I will be presenting the bill and hope to have several folks testifying.

Here is a sample of the text of this bill,

Subd. 4. Information provided to employee by employer.
(a) An employer must provide an explanation in an employee's native language of the employee's rights and duties as an employee either person to person or through written materials that, at a minimum, include:
(1) a complete description of the salary and benefits plans as they relate to the employee;
(2) a job description for the employee's position;
(3) a description of leave policies;
(4) a description of the work hours and work hours policy; and
(5) a description of the occupational hazards known to exist for the position.
(b) The explanation must also include information on the following employee rights as protected by state or federal law and a description of where additional information about those rights may be obtained:
(1) the right to organize and bargain collectively;
(2) the right to a safe workplace; and2.8(3) the right to be free from discrimination.
Subd. 5. Civil action. A person aggrieved as a result of a violation of this section may file suit in any district court of this state. If the court finds that the respondent has intentionally violated this section, the court may award damages up to and including an amount equal to the original damages and may provide injunctive relief.
Subd. 6. Criminal penalty. An employer who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.


Tomorrow I will introduce a bill to provide a voluntary checkoff on the income tax for years 2007 and 2008 to go to the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) sesquicentennial celebrations around the state, including grants to cities and counties planning celebrations of Minnesota's 150th Anniversary in 2008.

DITCH BUFFERS This one involves requiring that all ditches have there banks planted with a "permanent strip of perennial vegetation" 16-1/2 feet along the edges of ditches. This will cost us taxpayers by providing reimbursement to every one effected in any way by the construction and modifications to these ditches. Farmers would get reimbursed for loss of crops along these perennial corridors and the list goes on and on of the lucky people that would reap the proceeds of our tax money.
Tomorrow HF 577 will be heard in the House Environment Committee. This bill is the result of 2 years of work on the issue of establishing native vegetative buffers along public drainage ditches. This is a broad based compromise to protect water quality and provide wildlife habitat.

VENISON DONATION PROGRAM Here's one I am willing to agree on! It's only a buck!

On Monday, HF 278 will be heard in the Game, Fish and Forestry Division. This bill establishes a surcharge on deer license to pay for the processing of donated deer to go to food shelves. Iowa and Wisconsin have similar programs.


The issue of mold in homes is a growing concern. I have introduced HF 402 to prepare licensing (like other pesticide applicator licensing requirements) for those persons applying antimicrobials for hire for mold. This is not intended to apply to housecleaners et al. HF 402 will also be heard in committee on Monday.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Found in Contempt of Court

District Court Judge to City Attorney: Conduct "wholly unprofessional"

Fairfax, VA-The National Rifle Association (NRA) and law abiding gun owners have won yet another victory this morning against New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and former police chief Warren Riley.

Judge Carl J. Barbier, presiding over the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, granted NRA's motion for contempt against New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Warren Riley for "failure to provide initial disclosures and to compel answers to discovery" during NRA's injunction against the City for their illegal gun confiscation of law abiding citizens following Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

"Once more, Mayor Ray Nagin and former police chief Warren Riley are held accountable for considering themselves above the law," said Chris W. Cox, NRA's chief lobbyist. "These men have had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, every step of the way in this process to return the lawfully owned firearms to their own citizens, and Judge Barbier rightly found them in contempt of court for their complete lack of respect for the rule of law."

Furthermore, Judge Barbier concluded the delaying tactics by the City's attorney, Joseph Vincent DiRosa, Jr, to be "wholly unprofessional and shall not be condoned". Mr. DiRosa admitted in Court that he had "no good reason" to explain his actions and has been ordered to pay partial legal fees to NRA's attorneys for their wasted time and money.

"Ray Nagin, Warren Riley and their attorney refused to provide vital information to the U.S. District Court for their unconstitutional acts in their city's time of great need," concluded Cox. "On behalf of the lawful gun owners of New Orleans, NRA is pleased with this outcome, we thank Judge Barbier for his swift decision and we will continue to press for the full return of all the city's confiscated firearms."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Senator Metzen supports early childhood funding

Metzen and his DFL buddies are up to thier usual antics. It was said earlier this legislative session that there is not enough money for all day kindergarten, yet funding will be provided for early childhood education. I know that I did just fine going straight from the house into kindergarten, and everyone I know as well. Now we the taxpayers are supposed to finance subsidies to prepare babies to take that big step into kindergarten. Here again we have a group of people who will feel the need to use the government to do the job they are supposed to do. I am talking about parents, lazy parents. Its our job as parents to get our children ready for kindergarten, not the governments. I see this as an "in" for the future growth of the teachers union. There jobs will include counselers and special ed teachers for three and four year olds. Just watch and see! Next the school district will have to build ther own preschools. That will mean levies to finance them, which means higher property taxes. THis is another example of government getting involved in the private sector.

This legislation will provide allowances for families with young children in the two years prior to kindergarten. Parents may use the allowances to pay for preschool. The amount of the allowances will be on a sliding fee scale based on a families income, with a higher allowance going to a family with a lower income. Does this mean a family on welfare get free daycare? If so, this could free them up to get a job. By the way, speaking of jobs, I think ther are plenty of jobs available in Austin MN. Isnt that where all the illegal aliens rounded up at? Good jobs at the meat packing plant, and in a pleasant, rural community. I look forward to getting some comments on this!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Black robes and powdered wigs

I am posting this article written by Phil Krinkie. He gave me permission during a recent phone conversation. It was published in the Saint Paul Legal Ledger on Monday, January 22, 2007. It is a great article from a great gentleman.

Phil Krinkie is a former Republican state representative from Lino Lakes. The eight-term lawmaker chaired the House Tax Committee and two other house panels.

He fought for the common man, and when it came to tax increases, he was known as "Dr No."

He is now the President of The Taxpayer's League of Minnesota.

Black robes and powdered wigs

Phil Krinkie

During my tenure in the Minnesota House and now as a former member, I have always been perplexed by the demeanor of the Minnesota Senate. It probably goes back to our founding fathers and the Virginia House of Burgesses, where the House was the body of the people and the "upper body" was appointed. I guess 300 years doesn't change somethings.

Our state senators often seem disconnected or removed from the day-to-day life of average Minnesotans or one might say "not that connected to the real world." House members would often discuss ... What makes the Senate so different? We would speculate ... Is it that they are a smaller, more collegial body? Perhaps it is their four-year term, rather than facing the voters every other year. Maybe it's the three-plus decades of having only one party control the body. Or, is the simple explanation that the word "representative" is an adjective and the word "senator" is a noun? The bottom line is that anyone who has spent time around the Legislature knows the Senate is different.

In my mind, the best explanation of this "Senate demeanor" came a dozen years ago when Rep. Tom Rukavina, from Virginia Minn., proclaimed during a House committee hearing, If we gave the state senators black robes and powdered wigs, they would wear them."

Twelve years have passed and the individuals who comprise the Minnesota Senate may have changed, but their swagger and aloofness is still the same.

During the first two weeks of the 2007 legislative session, the Minnesota Senate has again demonstrated that it is out of touch with the people it serves. The bills that were introduced in the first week show how out of step the DFL-controlled Senate is with its core of constituents.

The legislative session is starting out with a $2 billion budget surplus, but that is not enough. In the first week alone, they introduced a sales tax increase, a wheelage tax increase, a vehicle registration increase, and of course a gas tax increase. Wow, I can hardly wait for their tax bill!

What do these bills all have in common beside the fact that they all increase revenue? these tax increases are all regressive -- taxes that fall in a greater proportion on lower income wage earners than those with higher incomes. Bottom line for the Senate -- $2 billion is not enough; let's tax the poor.

Yes, the group that claims to speak for the poor and disadvantaged proposes to increase at least five taxes that will result in less disposable income for those who can afford it the least.

But to add insult to injury, one has to look no further than the arrogance of their per diem increase. In one of it's first orders of business, the Senate passed an increase in it's daily expense reimbursement of 45 percent, up to $96 each day.

The Democrats talk about adding inflation to the budget. Well, at 45 percent, they certainly did! Compare this increase to what the U.S. House of Representatives is trying to do, raising the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour -- an increase of $2.10 per hour. If passed into law, a minimum wage earner working 40 hours a week would receive an additional $84 each week. A Minnesota state senator could now receive up to an additional $210 each week just for meals -- and that is in addition to the $31,500 salary. Of course they took this action in committee without a vote of the full Senate -- what courage.

Should state senators earn more than minimum wage? Of course they should. But who are they really concerned about? Their actions out of the gate in 2007 would illustrate they are more concerned about their own wallets than that of average Minnesotans.

Rukavina had it right when he pointed out that our senators are a self-indulgent and self-centered group, so they may as well dress the part. Bring out the black robes and powered wigs!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Capitol Call In - the transcript

This is the transcript from the show "Capitol Call In." This show was taped on January 25, 2007 at Town Square Television. This show is aired in northern Dakota County and provides us citizens the opportunity to call in and ask our elected officials questions.

In attendance were Senator Katie Seiben, and Representatives Joe Atkins, Rick Hansen, and Karla Bigham. Senator Metzen was invited but did not show up for some unknown reason.

This is the transcript from the show that I promised from a previous post.

Capitol Call In
January 25th, 2007
Bill Jungbauer- Hello . My name is Bill Jungbauer from W. St. Paul and I see Senator Metzen is not there. I see that in the last seven years he has taken $66,630.00 in per diem. Representative Atkins, the last four years you've taken $24,446.00 in per diem, where as Rick Hansen in the last two it's been over $13,000.00. I would like to know how you justify claiming these expenses when you live ten minutes from the capitol and how do you folks justify a 45% increase in per diem.
Moderator- Okay Bill thanks for that call, of course Bill ran against Senator Jim Metzen who was invited and a unfortunately Bill lost that election but addressed that question to Representative Atkins and Representative Hansen and you have the floor now, you get to respond. We'll start with Joe.
Joe Atkins- And happy to Bill. I wish we had you here, I kind of miss you, in fact we were talking about the forum when we got here, it was like the forum when we got here, it was kind of like the forum we had a few months ago.
In terms of per diem, I don't know Bill if your numbers are right, but they seem a little bit high. I just looked at them a couple of days ago and I think they are high at least in respect to me. If you look at the over all list you'll see that I am always at the very low end of the per diem list as far as justification of the new per diem amount- ummm- we don't actually vote, ahhh, we can opt whether or not, whether or not to take the per diem and for folks who don't know what it is, it's a per day amount that is allocated to legislators to cover expenses for things that they incur. Ummmm, we don't vote on it. We do choose, ahhhh, how much we, ahhh, how much we take, ahhh, and, ahhhh, and I think again you'll see that all of us will be very near the bottom of that, ahhh, that per diem list.
Moderator- Representative Hansen, do you care to respond to that?
Rick Hansen- Sure, umm, you know, I think the rate last year was $69.00 a day, and ahhhh, when you look at the per diem that I take, $66.00 a day for six days a week, generally I'm working on a Saturday, I'm going to community meetings, I'm up at the capitol and this is during session. So for 2005 that was a little over $700.00. I think I did earn $66.00 a day working at the capitol. Ummm, I think that, last night I was at the capitol till 10:30, the night before I was at the capitol until midnight, and ahhh, so far I ahh, I think ahhhh, my constituents got their $66.00 worth when I was at the capitol. So when you add them up, $7000.00. I did not take any per diem during the special session. I didn't think it was appropriate and I didn't take it. When we had a shorter session last year we worked in session January and February so $66.00 a day was about $5000.00, so, I believe you're numbers are correct, but I believe I did work for the district, I believe I am working for the district. Joe's right, the Rules Committee did raise the per diem to $77.00 in the house. In the senate it's $96.00. Ahhh, I think they got their $77.00 worth last night, they got it the night before, and their getting it today. So, ahhh, I took it, I am going to continue to take it. Ahhh, I think I'm doing the job and I like working for folks, but it is part of the responsibility of being a legislator.
Moderator- Senator Sieben, do you have something to add?
Katie Sieben- I just want to add for the folks at home who may not follow this as closely, a lot of people think that we make what members of Congress make and there's some misperceptions that we make over $130,000.00 a year. all legislators make right now about $31,000.00 a year before per diem. I think, ahhhh, last year on my taxes, I took home just over $40,000.00 for instance. So umm, I bring that up cause it's a, it is a full time job, if you want it to be, and ahh, I also bring it up because I know when my seat - the seat that I previously held in district, in district 57a, my house seat, when I decided to run for this, that, the senate seat, and gave up that seat, a number of people talked to me about running for office and a number of people in particular, I know he wouldn't mind me saying this, The mayor of Newport considered running for the state legislature, but decided not to because the pay was too low. Umm, I just bring this up because I feel that if we want good people to serve, umm, we need to be willing to pay em a decent amount and I don't think you know making $40,000.00 a year for the job we do is excessive. And, ahh, I don't know if Representative Bigham has anything to add to that. Ahh, obviously, I didn't mean to take away from you Karla, I'm so pleased that your here.
I will post Bigham's response soon.

Announcement from Rep. Laura Brod

I just received this email from Representative Laura Brod and I believe it is worth passing along to you!

Hello from St. Paul,

I received this notice the other day, and its news worth passing along.

On Wednesday, February 21, Scott County Veterans Affairs will be hosting a community presentation to discuss issues around the reintegration of soldiers returning from war back into a non-war environment.

Topics will include addressing the needs of returning combat veterans and their families; raising awareness of the reintegration process commonly experienced by returning veterans; warning signs of post-traumatic stress disorder; and adjusting to civilian life after being a combat soldier. Come find out why the hardest part about serving may be coming home.

This presentation was designed for all members of the community, local government officials and staff, veterans organizations, faith based organizations, community groups, fraternal organizations, service providers, employers, police officers, fire fighters, and public health providers.

The meeting will be held at the Savage American Legion Hall, 12375 Princeton Ave. S. in Savage on Wednesday, February 21 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

All members of the media are both welcome and encouraged to attend this event.

Reintegration is all of our responsibility! I hope you can attend if you have the time.


Representative Laura Brod, District 25A
581 State Office Building
100 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-4229 fax (651) 296-4307
Greater Minnesota: (800) 341-0510

Please visit my personal website at

Subscribe to my email updates at:

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Ex-legislator takes anti-tax stance to Taxpayers League

Pioneer Press
Former state Rep. Phil Krinkie, long the Legislature's leading budget hawk, today was named president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, an anti-tax advocacy group.
Krinkie, a Lino Lakes Republican who was defeated in November after 16 years in the House, succeeds David Strom, who has headed the league since 2004. Strom will remain a part-time employee of the league but will focus his attention on expanding the Taxpayers League Foundation, the organization's research arm.
"I have always fought for the interests of taxpayers at the Capitol," Krinkie said in a news release. "With the change in power at the Legislature, taxpayers are besieged by people itching to raise their taxes. I love a good fight, and this is a target-rich environment."
As chairman of the House Tax Committee in recent years, Krinkie earned the nickname "Dr. No" for his outspoken opposition to tax and spending increases. He owns The Snelling Co., a St. Paul heating and air conditioning business.
The Taxpayers League is probably best known for it's no-new-taxes pledge, which Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed before he was first elected in 2002 and struggled to keep through the state's subsequent budget crisis.

Something to ponder

Four boxes protect our freedom:
the soap box, the ballot box,
the jury box, and the cartridge box.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Capitol Improvement

More massive mega-waste planned at the Capitol. There are plans to remodel the state Capitol to the tune of $260 million. The project consists of building offices, a lobby, and an auditorium underneath the Capitol plaza. The plan also includes creating a visitors center, increasing the number of hearing rooms, revamping security, improving accessibility, and adding restrooms. Planners hope to start the work in the fall of 2008. It will take 6 years to finish.
Questions concerning this escapade of our elected officials include,
Do we want tons of our tax money spent on the state Capitol instead of other liberal waste or maybe property tax relief?
Should lawmakers start the flow of funds this year? I would bet they already have a plan.Wasn't something like this mentioned in the 2005 session? Obviously some cash has been spent on this already. It looks like some architect made some income drawing up the design.

A joke from Paul K.

One day a fourth-grade teacher asked the children what their fathers did for a living.

All the typical answers came up -- fireman, mechanic, businessman, salesman, doctor, lawyer, and so forth.

But little Justin was being uncharacteristically quiet, so when the teacher prodded him about his father, he replied, "My father's an exotic dancer in a gay cabaret and takes off all his clothes in front of other men and they put money in his underwear. Sometimes, if the offer is really good, he will go home with some guy and stay with him all night for money."

The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children to work on some exercises and then took little Justin aside to ask him, "Is that really true about your father?"

"No," the boy said, "He works for the Democratic National Committee and is helping to get Hillary Clinton to be our next President, but I was too embarrassed to say that in front of the other kids."

Monday, February 5, 2007

Quote for the day

"The world is a dangerous place to live in. Not because of people who do evil, but because of the people that do nothing about it."

Albert Einstein

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Metzen and his per diem increase

As you all know, the Senate approved increasing their per diem by 45%. I thought it would be prudent to inform you that this was approved by committee only. Not by a vote of the full senate. The Committee on Rules and Administration is the guilty bunch. And guess what. Our own Jim Metzen is on this very committee. No surprise there. We could only expect as much from him. I must mention again that Senator Metzen has taken $66,630.00 in the last seven years in per diem and he claims only a 15 mile round trip from his home to the capitol. I understand that our legislators get a mileage reimbursement also.

Here are some of my correspondence with Representatives Rick Hanson (D), and Laura Brod (R)

Hello Rick,

I just read Representative Laura Brod's press release expressing her disgust with the recent increase in per diem. I believe that you could really score major points with your constituents by introducing a bill to repeal this increase. Could you tell me who was responsible for this being passed in the Senate? Are you planning on appearing on any more "Capitol Call In" shows? Are there any more planned? I do not feel that my questions were answered.That you justify taking the per diem because the pay is minimal.

I finally signed up for your email updates. A friend tells me they are very informative.

Bill Jungbauer


I thought I gave a pretty detailed response to your question during the call in show. We are working on having more cable call ins as well as some town meetings. The Rules Committee passes the per diem rules in each house of the Legislature. Glad you signed up for the email updates.
Rick Hansen
State Representative
401 State Office Building
(651) 296-6828

Dear Representative Laura Brod,

After reading your press release expressing your views on the recent increase in per diem, I became curious as to why none of you have introduced a bill to repeal it. I live in district 39 and I have been giving Metzen, Hanson, and Atkins as much misery as I can on this issue. Could you please tell me who was responsible for this being passed in the senate? If Metzen is responsible, I want to know so I may post it on my blog. http://jungbauer2010.blogspot.com/
As a fellow Republican I feel that I can trust you to help me in my goal to keep them on their toes.

Thank You,

Bill Jungbauer


Thanks for your email. The per diem/housing issue is concerning to a number of us especially since it did not even get voted on by the full House of Representatives. In regard to your comment regarding a bill to repeal... even if a bill was introduced, it would most likely not get a hearing since the Democrats control the gavels and therefore make those determinations. They obviously wanted the increase or it would never have seen the light of day in committee. Our best bet is to go the amendment route. We have a number of options in terms of which bills to try to amend and will need to be prepared in order to do so as they come forward this session. In our Government Operations Committee on which I serve, we have tried a number of times in to, at the very least, ensure that no per diem is paid during special session. We recently tried to restrict per diem and housing by trying to amend a bill authored by Diane Loeffler (D-Mpls) authorizing a continuing Resolution to "keep the lights on" if the legislature does not come to agreement before our deadlines (which House Republicans generally oppose). If you can believe it, even this amendment was defeated by the Democrats. By defeating that amendment, they seem to think that they should be paid per diem even if the job at hand is not complete.You can be assured that we will keep bringing this issue up and will keep our eyes open for opportunities to amend legislation to repeal the increase. In regard to who led the charge on the issue in the Senate, I am not able to tell you with any degree of certainty. I am also not fully aware of Metzen's role in this. I hope this information is helpful. The Democrats have made many promises and I am very concerned with some of the procedural gyration which have already occurred. We have had only two significant bills voted on the House floor and each time were told by the Democrats that if we tried to amend them, we would kill the bills. In fact, last week a bill was up on the House floor which clearly did not go through all the appropriate committees. House Republicans tried over and over to send the bill back to the appropriate committees so the concerns with the bill could be ironed out. We were denied. This all or nothing attitude that the Democrats have displayed so far is not what I believe Minnesotans were hoping for when they made their votes last Fall. Stay tuned...Thank you for taking the time to email!
Laura Brod

Representative Laura Brod, District 25A
581 State Office Building
100 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-4229
fax (651) 296-4307
Greater Minnesota: (800) 341-0510


Please visit my personal website at

.Subscribe to my email updates at:

Voice of the Soldier

I bumped into this on http://www.specialforces.com/newsletter/2007_02/ A great website where you can get the truth from the source, our great men and women in uniform!

How dare we stop a suicide bomber! He has rights, you know...
You sure won't read of this in the leftist press

Thanks to Cliff Parrot for forwarding the following E-Mail from US Army Captain John Hunt who is in Afghanistan.

Hi everyone.I'm still alive but freezing my tail off. We got 8 inches of snow last week and it reached 5 degrees below zero that night. That's not why I'm e-mailing though.

You may have heard about a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul last Thursday. It was at one of our FOB's (Forward Observation Bases) about 27 miles from here.

But the real story is why no one was killed. We employ several thousand Afghans on our various bases. Not to mention the economy that is fed by the money these locals are making. Some are laborers and builders, but some are skilled workers. We even have one Afghan that just became OSHA qualified, the first ever. Some are skilled HVAC workers.

Anyway, there is this one Afghan that we call Rambo. We have actually given him a couple of sets of the new ACU uniforms (the new Army digital camouflage) with the name tag RAMBO on it. His entire family was killed by the Taliban and his home was where our base currently resides. So this guy really had nowhere else to go.
He has reached such a level of trust with US Forces that his job is to stand at the front gate and basically be the first security screening. Since he can't have a weapon, he found a big red pipe. So he stands there at the front gate in his US Army ACU uniform with his red pipe. If a vehicle approaches the gate too fast or fails to stop he slams his pipe down on their hood. Then once the gate is lifted the vehicle moves on the 2nd gate where the US Army MP's are. So he's like the first line of defense.

Last Thursday at 0930 hrs a Toyota Corolla packed with explosives and some Jack Ass that thinks he has 72 Virgins waiting for him approached the gate. When he saw Rambo he must have recognized him and known the gig was up. But he needed to get to that 2nd gate to detonate and take American lives. So he slams his foot on the gas which almost causes the metal gate to go up but mostly catches on the now broken windshield. Rambo fearlessly ran to the vehicle, reached thru the window and jerked the suicide bomber out of the vehicle before he could detonate and commenced to putting some red pipe to his heathen ass. He detained the guy until the MP got there. The vehicle only exploded when they tried to push it off base with a robot but no one was hurt.
I'm still waiting for someone to give this guy a medal or something. Nothing less than instant US citizenship or something.

A hat was passed around and a lot of money was given to him in thanks by both soldiers and civilians that are working over here. I guess I just wanted to share this because I want people to know that it's working over here.
They have tasted freedom. This makes it worth it to me.
Operations Officer
Bagram, Afghanistan

Quote for the day

"History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster."
Gen. Douglas MacArthur,
at the close of World War II

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Minnesota Property Tax Project

This was emailed to me this morning by DGH. Property taxes are a hot issue. Mine have doubled in the past several years. I pay property taxes, a street assessment, and my share of a $57 million school levy.

I believe in a sliding fee scale for the elderly, a little old lady on social security should have her property taxes frozen. Meaning no increases for any reason, no exceptions. That includes street assessments or school levies. If your doing well with a good retirement income, pay your share like the rest of us.

Here is your chance to speak up! Remember these words, "The world is run by those who show up."

The Minnesota Property Tax Project, being ramrodded by the DFL, probably won't bear the results we're looking for, but I suggest that we present our liberty proposals anyway. We can't criticize their plans unless we have better ones to offer. If you send your ideas to the project, please share a carbon copy with the group so we can add our support to the best ideas as well.

The following news item from the League of Minnesota Taxpayers gives you all the links you need to participate:

Think you’ve got a solution to property tax increases?

I can’t promise any results (well, the kind of results the Taxpayers League would approve of anyway), but Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth), chair of the Property Tax Relief division of the Taxes committee, has set up a website – the Minnesota Property Tax Project – to gather ideas for bringing “property tax relief to every Minnesotan.” While Rep. Marquart has acknowledged that “conservative Republican solutions – such as deep cuts in local government spending or giving more power to property owners to force referenda – might not be prime candidates for ‘Idea of the Day,’” they will still “consider any and all suggestions.” That may not leave many options for those of us inclined to suggest fiscally responsible solutions, but in the spirit of Groundhog Day I would sincerely hope that you take five minutes and send the DFL your two-cents. Of course, we could wake up tomorrow and find that all we’re going to get is the same nightmare solutions we’ve seen out of every other “tax relief” package to come from the DFL, but unless you're this guy, we can always hope tomorrow will be different.

Also, for folks out there who aren’t hooked up to “the Google” there are a couple of phone numbers set up to take your ideas: in the Metro (651) 297-8391 and in Greater Minnesota 1-800-551-5520.

Friday, February 2, 2007


As you all know by my previous posts, I am very irate about the increase in per diem our crooked legislators are getting away with. I will continue to post every thing I can find on this issue. Here is a press release from Representative Laura Brod (R-New Prague). At the end of this entry you will find all the members of the Rules Committee and their email address and phone numbers. Give em hell people!

ST. PAUL - Going back on a promise to Minnesotans that they would legislate in a “fiscally responsible” manner, House Democrats, with some support from a handful of Republican legislators, recently pushed through a healthy pay raise. What’s equally concerning, according to State Representative Laura Brod (R-New Prague) is that the move was made just less than two weeks into the 2007 session and was made without a vote of the entire House of Representatives.

“If this is the type of fiscal responsibility we’re going to see in January, just imagine what’s coming down the pike in May,” Brod said. “Hold on to your wallets.”

Brod noted that the action allows House lawmakers to receive $77 dollars each day for per diem - or a meal allowance - whether they spend it or not. They can also receive $1,200 per month to find a place to live. They can also receive this funding for the entire year. The Minnesota House is only in session for five months.

The move was approved by the DFL-controlled House Rules Committee, and does not require a full House floor vote.

“This is nothing more than a backdoor pay increase without open and honest debate,” Brod said. “I have taken dozens of calls on this issue. People are outraged, and they have every right to be."

“This is an awful message to our citizens and I strongly oppose it. Personally, I will not be accepting this per diem increase or the housing allowance,” Brod concluded.

Phone Number(651) area code
E-mail Address
Chair: Anthony "Tony" Sertich (DFL)

Vice Chair: Diane Loeffler (DFL)

Lead-GOP: Erik Paulsen (R)

Mark Buesgens (R)

Lyndon Carlson (DFL)

David Dill (DFL)

Ron Erhardt (R)

Brad Finstad (R)

Debra Hilstrom (DFL)

Melissa Hortman (DFL)

Larry Howes (R)

Al Juhnke (DFL)

Leon Lillie (DFL)

Doug Magnus (R)

Tim Mahoney (DFL)

Erin Murphy (DFL)

Michael V. Nelson (DFL)

Dennis Ozment (R)

Gene Pelowski Jr. (DFL)

Aaron Peterson (DFL)

Steve Simon (DFL)

Dean Simpson (R)

Loren Solberg (DFL)

Paul Thissen (DFL)

Kathy Tingelstad (R)

Torrey Westrom (R)

Ryan Winkler (DFL)

A Patriotic Video

Check out this patriotic video that Jeanette W. sent me. It is awesome.


Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Castle Doctrine

This piece of BS was printed on the front page of the Pioneer Press today. I find it lacking in substance and void of any real knowledge of Minnesota's gun laws. I called the news paper and said that I doubt that the writer, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger had talked to any one with the NRA. Here it is,

Is gun bill for safety or license to shoot?
Measure would extend spaces for justified use of deadly force
Pioneer Press

Gun-rights advocates say the measure grants law-abiding citizens the right to defend themselves against attackers without being forced to retreat.

Here in our great state, even in our own home, we are required to retreat if at all possible, before deadly force is justified. The main idea behind the "Castle Doctrine" is that you do not have to retreat when you are in your own home.

Opponents say it grants people the right to "shoot first, ask questions later" and could turn Minnesota into the Wild West.

We heard this BS about the Wild West back when the concealed carry law was first passed. All the anti-gun folks could be heard whining "Minnesota will be like the Wild West." It never happened.

Welcome to the latest debate about guns. The debate will land in Minnesota today as lawmakers introduce the measure known as the "Castle Doctrine."

The proposal gets its name from the adage that your home is your castle, and it stems from the idea that you should be able to protect your castle with force if necessary. According to the National Rifle Association, which is backing the measure, similar laws have passed in 15 states since 2005.

"This is a homeowner, property-owner defense bill. It's not radical," said Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, the proposal's sponsor in the House.

Cornish, a former police officer, calls the measure the "Stand Your Ground" legislation.

"I think it's easily defensible," he said.

Sen. Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington, is the measure's Senate sponsor.

If the measure becomes law, the state would replace the current law that defines justifiable homicide. Current law says it's justifiable to kill someone in your house if you fear the person will cause you "great bodily harm or death," or to prevent a felony.

This is what I'm talking about. The above paragraph could lead one to believe that it is permissible to shoot somebody who is trying to steal your car or burglarize the neighbors house.

Minnesota Statute 609.065 restricts the use of lethal force:

The intentional use of the life of another is not authorized except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.

The new law would extend the justification for the use of deadly force beyond the walls of your home to include your car and any other place you are legally allowed to be. It would allow you to "meet force with superior force" in your defense if you fear substantial bodily harm. Substantial bodily harm is a lesser, more temporary degree of force than great bodily harm.

Cornish says that's only right.

"When I was a cop, if someone would have threatened me and we were in a struggle and he or she broke my finger in the struggle, don't you think I would have pulled out the hardware? Why in the world wouldn't we afford a common citizen the same level of self-defense?" he said.

If I was walking down the street and got mugged, I think it is my right to pull out my pistol.

Opponents say the measure has nothing to do with self-defense.

"The law is about posturing. It was written by people who want to make it look like they are tough on criminals," said Zach Ragbourn, spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The Brady campaign has worked against similar laws in other states. According to Ragbourn's count, which is different from the NRA's, 10 states have passed the measures, which he calls fake self-defense laws.

"The system isn't broken," he said. "Good people aren't going to jail for defending their families, for fending off carjackers or muggers. They are not going to jail when someone breaks into their homes."

No, but even if your are in the right, you may very well be hauled to jail and face as much as ten grand in legal fees. I hope the "Castle Doctrine" Bill addresses this.

Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner says the proposal is a "solution in search of a problem."

"We've had no complaints about the law unfairly penalizing people who are simply protecting themselves," she said. "If we had, then I might understand why this is cropping up. But the fact that it is being raised now is just, to me, is a train of thought that let's bring the Wild, Wild West to the Midwest."

There's the "Wild West" argument again. We've heard this before and nothing happened.

An Anoka County shooting from late last year might influence the debate at the Capitol.

In November, Gerald Whaley, of Coon Rapids, shot and killed 17-year-old Tony Parks after Parks broke into his house at 11 p.m. Bryan Lindberg, of the Anoka County attorney's office, said prosecutors haven't decided whether to charge Whaley with a crime.

I certainly hope not! It's a shame that a seventeen year old boy got shot dead and I hope it is something that I never do, but the kid was an intruder and had it coming. It will be a travesty of justice if Mr Whaley is charged.

Those who say the new law isn't needed might see their argument bolstered if Whaley isn't charged. If he is, the proposal's backers could pick up support.

Right now, the legislative landscape might not be welcoming to the measure.

"It is a lead duck," said Bill Gillespie, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association. The organization's board opposes the measure. "I don't even expect one hearing."

Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis, who calls the proposal the "shoot-to-kill legislation," believes it wouldn't have the support to survive a Senate committee vote if it did get a hearing.

But Cornish said he's ready for the fight.

"It's going to be a real effort," he said. "We know we are in for a real battle here."

And, he said, he's ready to prove detractors wrong.

"It's not an encouragement to turn it into the Wild West or to give them an excuse to shoot people," he said. "It enables them to protect themselves legally and it puts the onus on the criminal and the state to prove they were wrong."