RON SCHALOW: Liberty Loving Legislators

It’s hard to keep up with the North Dakota Legislature, since the idiotic bills shoot out faster than Donald Trump running from a Syrian toddler. The kid was “yuge.” Believe me.

Then, you add in the daily hijinks and lies of our new administration in D.C., and you have a bottomless stockpot of rancid confusing soup and a small slotted spoon.

We’ll start here

North Dakota State Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, wants people to stop wearing masks, especially the Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access pipeline because with goggles over the eyes and bandanas covering mouths, it mitigates the effect the mace and tear gas. That stuff isn’t free!

In response, many citizens have requested that Carlson wear a mask whenever he leaves the house. Preferably a neon yellow ski mask, so he won’t get lost in the Wal-mart parking lot.

Rep. Keith Kempenich, R-Bowman, is ticked at Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access, too. His mother-in-law was just driving along and got caught up in a mass of pipeline protesters marching down the road and blocking her path. Irritated, Kempenich wrote the “I dropped a cigarette in my lap and accidentally ran down some protesters with my Lincoln MKS” bill. Oops. Sorry about your friends. Better luck walking in my way next time.

Nothing else seems to kill them. In the meantime, drivers are encouraged to duct tape several emotionally disturbed Dobermans to the hood of their Buicks. St. Bernards will work, but you’ll end up with the windshield wipers constantly on high, due to the slobber, and you’ll probably need 7 extra gallons of washer fluid.

Several rolls of the tape will be needed, since dogs don’t like being adhered to things, but the crowd will part, if only to retreat to an advantageous spot for videotaping.

SB 2246: Sen. Dick Dever, R-Bismarck, wants to write into law the ability to fine people (Indians) an unspecified amount for not vacating certain parcels of dirt when ordered. It’s for their own safety. Cough.

Dever was the one smiling like a hyena in the group picture with Trump, when the braggart of sexual assault came to Bismarck, promising to save coal from competition, and Obama.

Can’t these Native people see? They are upsetting the oil barons.

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”― Frédéric Bastiat

They like guns

There are approximately 39,000 permits out there that allow the holder to carry a concealed handgun in North Dakota. The number was about 14,000 in 2011, before the Bakken got humming — and more dangerous (we didn’t extreme vet the characters who followed the oil money) — so it’s safe to assume that some of those pistols are no longer in the state.

But let’s leave the number at 39,000. The population is 740,000. A lot of attention is being paid to 5 percent of our citizens, many who will admit to leaving their pistol in the glove box, or under the seat, when they are out dragging Main. And how many just leave the gun in a lockbox? They don’t see the point of taking their Glock to the movies — or church. Most are satisfied with a rifle and/or shotgun for hunting. Do more than 2 percent even give a rip?

So, why is so much attention paid to guns, and with so much reverence?

Guns had their own day

Jan. 26 was “Gun Lobby Day,” at the North Dakota State Capitol. Oh, please. Don’t be so modest. Every day is “Gun Lobby Day” in North Dakota, and they are all splendid. Pass the potato salad and a pound of bullets, please.

Even though most don’t care, because it’s unnecessary, Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, and numerous other lawmakers, really — I mean really — want North Dakotas to be able to carry a concealable gun anywhere they damn well please. Evidently, those poor people aren’t truly free, otherwise.

HB 1169: This is Becker’s so-called “Constitutional Carry” Bill, which would allow people, meeting several requirements, to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. “This critically important bill reaffirms the true intent of the Second Amendment,” wrote an avid proponent of the bill.

Malarkey, I say. Even if the true intentions behind the Second Amendment were known, this bill doesn’t reaffirm anything. As written, the “shall not be infringed” part is being infringed like crazy. Even ignoring the “a well-regulated militia” bit, the Constitution doesn’t set age limits, or exclude ex-cons, or the mentally unfit, or those who can’t afford a gun, this right. No problem is solved, except to exempt a few from paying the usual fee. I’m all tingly.

Becker loves liberty. Who doesn’t? But Dr. Becker loves it more, and he is a defender of liberty, and he founded the North Dakota Bastiat cult, er Caucus to prove it. The elite club is named for French writer, economist and legislator Frederic Bastiat, who died 1850. Bastiat hated most parts of government, taxes and regulations and proposed free markets without restraint. I see the attraction for a Bastiat ideologue, but the United States had a total of 17 million citizens in 1850. A few things have changed in the past 166 years. Indoor plumbing is my favorite.

Becker has plans, and he wants to make sure that everyone knows that in this red state, he is blood red. And most patriotic, too. Do YOU have one of those football field-size flags? And his guns are nicer than yours, too.

I gather that Rep. Chris Olson, R-West Fargo. is also in the cult caucus because he is listed as the email contact. He also loves liberty. Olson is worried about refugees and other things, but not their liberty. It’s a personal type of love, I guess. No worries, though. Trump is keeping dangerous refugee families away.

“The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.” — Bastiat, “The State”

They believe this poppycock.

HB 1273: Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, wants churches to have the right to allow Smith and Wessons on their premises. Churches are off limits for guns according current law. “This bill corrects an egregious violation of property rights,”  wrote an anonymous backer of this Bill.

Egregious, eh. In every movie or TV show I’ve ever seen, where someone brings a firearm into a church, the padre, priest or minister, yells, “How dare you bring a gun into the house of God?” Father O’Brien gets a rifle butt to the head shortly thereafter. It’s predictable. Has Hollywood been lying to me?

There are some advantages. If it’s raining, 21-gun salutes, for military funerals, can be done indoors, and for regular services, the candles can be extinguished much faster than with the traditional bell snuffer.

HB 1278: Koppelman again.  If you have a concealed weapons license, you will be able to be packing in any public building that doesn’t have a metal detector and an armed guard. If that wasn’t clear, Koppelman, or one one of his co-sponsors wrote; “In other words, if they (meaning the building staff/security) aren’t protecting you, you should be able to protect yourself.”

Of course, teens, tweens and subtweens, aren’t allowed to walk around with Rugers, so I guess this bill wasn’t meant for them. Sorry kids. I guess you’re doomed at McDonald’s. Throw McNuggets with extra salt, and aim for the eyes.

Personally, I’ve never been anywhere, at any age. where I felt I was in danger, and never did I ever feel threatened. These jokers evidently think a person is supposed to fear everything — EVERYWHERE! Such silliness.

Decades ago, I managed places that served liquor. Firearms weren’t allowed in any of them because that would have been stupid.

In the last place, I had unarmed large men placed throughout the establishment, to card, stop fights and keep people, especially the women, from getting hassled. One of them was the world heavyweight military wrestling champ, and one was a former UND offensive guard. That pair weighed in at a svelte 660 pounds. Plus, I employed a number of (unarmed) military police, a former Bison D-back and a few bikers. Special offenders were tossed out the backdoor into a chain link fence. Some were diced. Some weren’t.

Everyone was protected. A shot was never fired.

HB: 1310 Rep. Dwight Kiefert, R-Valley City, can’t stand gay people, Muslims or the fact that guns aren’t allowed in schools. He has put this bill up for vote the past two sessions, and he’s getting close. The kids must be protected, evidently by a teacher who volunteers, or another adult that works at the school.

I asked him a couple of years ago if he was concerned about the Bakken oil trains that roll by numerous schools in North Dakota, a nonimaginary scenario, Because the tanker cars contain stuff that isn’t crude oil, and exploding, as they do, a whole school could be incinerated. Didn’t phase him. Bringing that up would put him going the wrong way in the oil stream.

Recently, I asked if there were plans to put bulletproof glass in the schools — it stands to reason if you’re so concerned about a school attacking gunman. No response. If we really need guns in schools, we need to go full out. Body armor, stone tunnels to the buses, which don’t even have seat belts, and 48 other things.

I’ve sent a lot of messages to my representative in District 41, Al Carlson. One response: He said he would get back to me on the exploding train thing. That was over two years ago. There’s still hope, though.

SB 2315: Sen. David Clemens, R-West Fargo, who cares anymore, wants citizens to be able to take pot shots at other humans, whether they are threatening your safety — or not. Running away, even. If the neighbor kid drills you in the head with a really hard snowball, throw a few bullets his way. You won’t have time to run him over.

Co-sponsor of 2315, Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, who lives in District 3, as does Rep. Roscoe Streyle, R-Minot, once told me that BNSF or Sunoco, it doesn’t matter, was going to put a layer of a rubbery concoction on the Bakken oil tankers cars, like paint, so they wouldn’t explode. I think they were going to order the stuff from ACME. He’s one of our leaders.

To his credit, or blabbermouth nature, Oley did admit that the oil companies were leaving the butane, propane, methane, ethane and ect. in with the crude — even though the gases made the whole works explode in a derailment — because they didn’t want to lose the income from the valuable gases. I knew that, but politicians in these parts are reticent when it comes to talking about the oil guys with gold cards.

HB 1391: Rep. Luke Simons, R-Dickinson, has an issue with the feds regulating firearms and munitions manufactured in North Dakota because the interstate commerce and supremacy clauses of the U.S. Constitution do not specifically identify such authority, so he wrote a bill to put an end to such nonsense.

This is one of those 10th Amendment arguments. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Plenty of things fit this definition, since several centuries have passed, and some changes have taken place, but Simons has decided to focus on the manufacturing of guns and bullets.

An unnamed blogger compared Simon to the “The Virginian,” a character in an old western by the same name. I don’t know James Drury, but Luke Simons is no James Drury.

Nongun things

Sen. Tom Campbell, R-Grafton, thinks it’s a good idea to drug test welfare recipients. It’s not. Other states have tried this stupid idea and found very few abusers, so the program just costs money. Of course, as a well-heeled farmer, Campbell knows all about receiving subsidies. Has anyone asked him to pee in a cup for the money?

Republicans are trying to do away with BreatheND, which has significantly reduced the number of smokers in the state, which saves us money, not costs. Republican mascot, and Fargo Forum blogger, Robbie Port, says that everyone knows about the risks of tobacco already, so why spend more money on advertising? Everyone knows about Coca-Cola and Budweiser, too. Anyone who has been in business, been educated or left their house, knows that advertising works.

Port has also been in cahoots with efforts to smear everyone at the pipeline protests. He couldn’t hold Chase Iron Eyes’ shoes. Shoes that do actual work.

Port buddy Streyle got his bill to water down reporting requirements for spills of any type on an oil pad. Even the old ones. He was just sitting there one night when it came to him. Or an envelope pushed under the door. Only the Port knows.

Busy beaver Becker also has a bill to restrict the number of out-of-state students who will be allowed in North Dakota colleges. Is the state suddenly too crowded that we can afford to turn people away that were willing to come here on purpose, fill our apartments and buy crap? Is the free market only applicable sometimes? This is dumber than usual.

He’s also worried about “safe spaces” on college campuses. Do we even have any? What’s the concern? Does he mean the consulting services offered year-round to all students? Is his doctor’s office a safe space? Everywhere I go is a safe space. Maybe he should quit trying to make mostly imaginary right-wing memes into law and try to accomplish something that will help people. Leave the education to experts.

Becker also wants to be able to order liquor straight from the manufacturer, if his distributor can’t get what he wants for his very special, bars. Boo hoo.

“Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.” —Bastiat, “The Law”

Would the Libertarians please stand up?

How many Libertarian ideologues have passed themselves off as Republicans to get elected into power? ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) was bad enough. Now, we have this Bastiat fellow to lead some of our deep thinkers in Bismarck by the nose.

4 thoughts on “RON SCHALOW: Liberty Loving Legislators”

  • Stanford Edwards January 29, 2017 at 10:41 am

    This would be a hilarious satire if it had been written for ‘The Onion’ or a similar humor website. Alas, this is an actual overview of the fine work being done by the North Dakota Republican Party. Read it and weep, folks, and at least try to laugh through the tears…

  • MICHELLE HUOT January 29, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Republican, the Wingnut Party. Geeeeeze!
    Does no one ever think of the danger to innocent citizens?
    Can you not see the day when parents won’t want to take their kids to movies, the park, the zoo, local high school games, etc. because any kind of crackpot is also aloud to be there with a loaded gun? Do these guys not have families? Being as I live in Kentucky now, I can’t even ask who votes these idiots into office.

  • Gerald January 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    You might want to investigate why Oley Larson, former shop teacher at Minot High school is no longer employed there. He had his shop students make his campaign signs and make them out of school supplies. They fired him but he still got re-elected. Sometimes the people deserve what they get for legislators.

  • Susan Gorr January 30, 2017 at 4:25 pm



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