Nolan opponent Mills on the ‘four pillars’ of his campaign and how he’d win in 2014

Stewart Mills
Stewart Mills

WASHINGTON — Perhaps Stewart Mills’ most notable foray into public policy was his January “open letter” video to Minnesota lawmakers opposing potential new gun control measures.

But Mills, the Nisswa Republican challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, says that wasn’t the first thing to inspire him to political action. During the 2009 debate over the Affordable Care Act, Mills, a vice president at family business Mills Fleet Farm and the administrator of the company’s health care plan, met with then-Rep. Jim Oberstar’s staff to voice his opposition.

The bill passed, Republican Chip Cravaack upset Oberstar in 2010 and Cravaack, in turn, lost to Nolan last fall. But between the Affordable Care Act, debates over gun issues, and what he sees as unsustainable national debt, staff meetings and open letters weren’t enough for Mills — he said it’s time to follow his family’s “hunting camp doctrine”: If you complain about something, you get the job to fix it.

Mills talked with MinnPost on Wednesday about the “four pillars” of his campaign, what he’d do to replace the Affordable Care Act, and balancing environmental and economic issues in the 8th District (Questions have been edited for clarity; answers, for brevity).

MinnPost: What’s the basic driving force behind your campaign? Why are you in the race and what is your message for voters?

Stewart Mills: I became an outspoken critic of a lot of the misinformation and some of the bad concepts that were being pushed out of Washington. Through that, I had a group of people that asked me to run for this office. It was one of these things where, underneath the hunting camp doctrine, I was the guy that was complaining about it, so I should go to fix it.

In my campaign, I have something that I call the four pillars:

  • The first pillar is … Obamacare.
  • The other was a Main Street tax policy that was from the ground up. The 8th District is a Main Street economy, and I don’t believe that Washington D.C. creates jobs. If we’re going to create and sustain the jobs that our part of Minnesota needs, it’s going to be coming from Main Street businesses, from the ground up, businesses that are taxed at the personal level. If we want a sustainable economy, we have to look toward our Main Street businesses because the 8th District is not a place of big corporations.
  • Respect for the Constitution is my third pillar. Certainly I’m a hunter, I’m somebody who uses firearms recreationally, I’m a shooter, I shoot competitively, that is my golf. I know how guns work. I know that one gun is not morally superior or inferior to the next, and I also have read the Constitution, I believe that we should uphold and abide by the Constitution.
  • Finally my fourth pillar is our national debt. $17 trillion is way too much. But the very fact that we keep kicking the can down the road and adding to our debt is endangering the future of our nation and our children’s future. We are passing on along to them a fiscal mess. Part of my hunting camp doctrine I’m running underneath is when you go to hunting camp or you go to a campsite in our part of Minnesota, there’s usually a sign that says leave it better than when you found it. I believe that we should do that.

MP: Do you see yourself aligning with any part of the GOP over another, basically the Tea Party or the so-called “establishment?”

SM: You can’t get anything done on your own and if you start alienating people or taking positions that are unduly controversial, I won’t be able to create the constituencies and the groups that I’m going to need to either form or be a part of, to represent the interests of our part of Minnesota. So I’m not planning on being divisive, and also I’m planning on working with everybody on the Republican side of the aisle and I also plan on reaching across the aisle where I possibly can to advance the interests of our part of Minnesota.

MP: How would you have voted on the final bill ending the government shutdown?

SM: I’m not in Washington and I’m not privy to their conversations. I can neither commend nor condemn the votes that they’ve made because I just don’t have access to the strategies or the back-end.

There is such a divisive culture in Washington DC that it would have not been necessary to shut down the government if people were able to come together, put their cards on the table. When you take a look at what the Republicans were asking for, some of this, in hindsight, wasn’t unreasonable.

MP: Would you attach any conditions to voting to raise the federal debt limit?

SM: First of all, the United States of America has to pay its bills. As we go forward, we have to tie the increases of the debt limit to solid spending cuts, things that are unnecessary: the Department of Energy being turned into a venture capital firm … These are all things that maybe it’s a good in some people’s minds, however, it’s not the true function of the government, the proper function of the government, nor can we afford it, it is not sustainable. So, in a nutshell, yes, anything that we do, budget-wise, has to be tied to spending cuts because our current trajectory is not sustainable.

MP: How would you approach the farm bill and the issue of food stamp cuts?

SM: We [Fleet Farm] are an ag-based retailer. Certainly I support the farmers and anything that we can do to make sure that our farm families are stronger, we need to do as a nation. As far as food stamps or SNAP is concerned, we have to make sure we preserve our social safety net and we wring out any fraud, waste or abuse that is in the program.

MP: Do you have a specific level of cuts in mind?

SM: I know that there is a difference in the cut level between the Senate portion and the House portion, but what the right amount is, you’d have to measure the fraud, waste and abuse. 

MP: If the ACA were to be repealed, what type of policies would you propose in its place?

SM: There are some good things in the Affordable Care Act, there are some things that I believe will benefit the American public. However, the way they went about achieving those was the wrong way. When you take a look at the medical economy, you have supply, demand and delivery. The Affordable Care Act, when it was first introduced, said that what we’re going to is, we’re going to bring down costs and we’re going to improve delivery. Well by their own admission, the Affordable Care Act did none of those things.

I wouldn’t scrap health reform altogether. As a matter of fact, I’m for health reform, but I’m for health reform that is going to take us in a different direction that’s going to increase the supply of medical services, that’s going to reduce the demand through prevention and making our population healthier and that’s actually going to make the delivery more efficient.

MP: So go back to the drawing board to try and write a plan doing that?

SM: It’s not so much going back to the drawing board. We have gone down this path, we have had this debate, there is consensus about what we need to achieve and actually have more people covered and not less. You don’t scrap everything altogether, because we’ve invested in this, we’ve invested our time in the debate, and the debate has been productive. We should continue to focus on it and go forward with things that will make our system better.

MP: There’s always a debate in the 8th about balancing environmental and economic especially in areas like mining, forestry, etc. What’s your approach to environmental issues and climate change, and how would you balance all that?

SM: I am a fan of mining and I do think it’s a great industry and it’s an industry that goes way, way back in our heritage. It’s just a matter of making sure a technology and the science behind the mining is one that preserves our ecology. I hunt, I fish, I’m outdoors quite a bit. I want our resources to be clean, to be pure.

Rather than being the guy who holds up the stop sign, we should be rolling up our sleeves and figuring out, OK, we are going to do this, we need to do this. How can we do this in an environmentally safe and sound manner?

MP: Do you have a position on climate change?

SM: I really don’t. I’m open-minded on climate change, but I’m open-minded to both sides of the debate. Certainly we don’t want to do anything that’s going to jeopardize the future of our planet, but at the same time we have to be realistic that: Is the climate changing? Is man causing the climate to change?

And if it is man-caused, what is the right way to go about it? Especially when you have countries like India and China that are polluting at a huge rate. To pick on the farmers and their cost of production or to stand in the way of various pipeline projects may not make any sense in the big picture.

MP: What’s the strategy for winning the 8th? How can a Republican win up there?

SM: This is the year, with what our country is facing, in which people are, Democrats in particular, are going to be taking a very hard look at somebody who may not be a traditional Republican. I believe that I can reach the conservative Democrats and some of the people who have just always voted Democrat year after year, and I can win them over.

My current campaign strategy isn’t getting a large turnout from Republicans and conservatives to overwhelm the Democrats, my current campaign strategy is to reach out to traditionally Democratic voters who care about things such as the future and sustainability of our country, who care about our Constitution, not limited to, but certainly inclusive of, the Second Amendment.

MP: Do you intend on self-funding at all?

SM: I really haven’t landed on that yet. However, conceptually, I’m not going to be asking my supporters to do anything for me I’m not willing to do for myself. I will be playing a role in my campaign financially. However, I’m manning the phones and I’m putting on fundraisers and I’m engaging in all the activities a candidate would. I’m hitting on all cylinders right now and we’ll see what takes place later in the election cycle.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com. Follow him on Twitter: @dhenry

Comments (43)

  1. Submitted by Bruce Johnson on 11/07/2013 - 10:17 am.

    How attractive, modern and rich does a candidate need to be to overcome endorsing his party’s vandalism of the economy, only thinking of guns when he talks about respecting the Constitution and repeating the same old BS about federal debt as the people who have acted like drunken sailors for 3 decades?
    I call lipstick on a pig.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/07/2013 - 10:51 am.

    Sorry, but no…

    What I read here is “conservative” pablum from yet another rich guy. These talking points are decades-old, with the exception of the Affordable Care Act, and he has nothing constructive to offer in that exception. The other three are… where to start?

    Who runs for public office in this country without respect for the Constitution? Like the Bible, it’s open to many different interpretations, but disagreement with Mr. Mills’ interpretation doesn’t automatically indicate some sort of disrespect. He may not believe that Washington D.C. creates jobs, but the facts say otherwise, and if he believes the 8th District is not the territory of “big corporations” he’s not paying attention. The national debt IS way too high, so I look forward to his explanation of what tax breaks currently enjoyed by his and other businesses that he’d be willing to forego in order to bring that debt down further.

    His “four pillars” are made of sand.

  3. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 11/07/2013 - 11:19 am.

    My take on his ‘four pillars’

    * Even though it seems to be working well in MN?
    * You could make the case that Big Box stores like Fleet Farm do more damage to Main Street businesses than any tax.
    * Okay. Which “well regulated militia” are you a member of?
    * Okay. So where do you cut? Food stamps? Medicare?

  4. Submitted by rolf westgard on 11/07/2013 - 11:39 am.

    Great for my cars

    I have bought cars from Mills dealerships for years. They do a great job with follow up service.
    But I will stick with Rick Nolan to service the US.

  5. Submitted by Josh Lease on 11/07/2013 - 12:03 pm.

    big empty

    Does Stewart Mills actually know anything? All his answers are substance-free pablum at best, at worst clueless yammering.

    One the one hand, he thinks we have to pay our bills, but in the same breath, he’ll sign on for the GOP suicide pacts on the debt ceiling, which is…paying our bills.

    He’s been well-coached to attack SNAP cuts as being all about fraud, waste & abuse, but doesn’t actually know if there is any or how much there is, so he just wants cuts.

    His ACA bits are equally goofy: he wants to attack “Obamacare”, but wants all the benefits of it too. Way to pick a side. I love how one of his principles for running is just “Obamacare”. He doesn’t want it gone, he’s not necessarily against it or anything, he’s just running because it was…passed wrong?

    If he wasn’t their heir to the Mills Fleet Farm fortune no one would know this guy’s name. No one would see him as credible. It’s only because he’s got millions to spend on his race and family connections to raise even more than he’s even here.

    I don’t think the 8th is going to be fooled.

    • Submitted by Dan Landherr on 11/08/2013 - 11:35 am.

      Confusing response

      If I read his pillars alone without any context I’d say he’s in favor of Obamacare and taxing main street businesses, in fact they’re his key issues.

  6. Submitted by David Frenkel on 11/07/2013 - 12:08 pm.

    new to politics

    His family owns a pretty big family business, not sure if he will be able to pull off the small town, back woods character role.
    He also has very little background in politics although he will make a good NRA poster child. If you remember former Senator Boshwitz, he used his Plywood MN ads to make him a house hold name, maybe Mills will start showing up on Fleet Farm ads. I might suggest that Fleet Farm drop its man cave ads about its firearms department both since it is politically incorrect and more woman are hunting.

    • Submitted by Paul Lund on 11/07/2013 - 12:27 pm.

      Politically incorrect???

      Have you seen any of the billboards for the indoor range? They have women shooting on them. These same women work there and are experts.

      • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 11/07/2013 - 08:38 pm.

        Its called Marketing…

        ..currently the vast majority of gun purchasers are men, gun industry shills, like Mills, are forever looking to expand their markets. That’s why they push conceal carry laws, (Walmart, the largest gun seller in the country funds a lot of those campaigns) to promote sales. The billboards you see and the female “experts” that work there are there to tap into the female market. Plain and simple marketing.

        • Submitted by Paul Lund on 11/08/2013 - 12:03 pm.

          Not just marketing

          One of the ladies that works at the range has a law enforcement background and just won Top Gun at a National shooting competition. There is quite a bit more than “marketing” going on there. They hired some good people, including veterans.

  7. Submitted by Paul Lund on 11/07/2013 - 12:13 pm.

    Mills

    While Rolf says he will stick with Nolan, it was never an option to do otherwise. He is a very vocal lefty from the cities who constantly writes left-wing comments up here and would never support a Conservative.
    Stewart is an honest person with a background of achievement and success. I realize that the left doesn’t appreciate these things but the right and center do. I predict Mills will trounce Nolan in the next election and that Mills will have the integrity to vote for what is best for his constituents and for his country, regardless of party-line politics.

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 11/07/2013 - 12:57 pm.

      Achievement and success

      Mills rose from his humble beginnings as a born millionaire and succeeded in the family business that was handed to him. What an inspiration!

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 11/07/2013 - 02:03 pm.

        No

        that describes Mark Dayton.

        Stuart Mills has worked in the family business since he was 14. Mark Dayton never worked a day in his family’s business from which he’s harvested millions.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/07/2013 - 04:41 pm.

          What?

          As if working in the business owned by your family is real “work.” What do you suppose Mr. Mills would have had to do to get fired?

          It’s my recollection that Governor Dayton says his father made him work for spending money, if not in the stores, then at something else. I think he said something about nothing worse than a “rich bum.”

        • Submitted by Cameron Parkhurst on 11/07/2013 - 04:49 pm.

          Are you criticizing the Dayton family’s

          ability to use the laws and tax code to accumulate wealth and pass it along to younger generations? If I recall, Mark Dayton has worked in jobs outside of the family business. It strikes me there is a split for conservatives when it comes to wealth accumulation. It is good to accumulate more wealth for your family, but only if those younger family members work to continue the accumulation of wealth. When they go into public service or other professions, they are labeled Trust Fund babies that do not value hard work.

        • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 11/07/2013 - 05:55 pm.

          No back at you

          The difference is that unlike Mills, who is attempting to project an image as a self-made man, Mark Dayton has never pretended to be something he is not. Dayton has also spent his life helping those who weren’t born with his advantages, while Mills seems to lack any empathy for those who aren’t born millionaires like himself.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/07/2013 - 01:18 pm.

      Integrity!

      “Regardless of party line politics.”

      I just wanted to repeat that line, so I could savor the exquisite wit behind it. Yes, a candidate who dutifully mouths all of his party’s shibboleths will vote for what’s best “regardless of party line politics.”

      Honestly, I don’t know when I’ve read anything so humorous. It’s as if Mr. Mills is not just another groveler-before-the-tea-party.

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 11/08/2013 - 10:10 am.

      “Stewart is an honest person with a background of achievement and success. I realize that the left doesn’t appreciate these things but the right and center do.”

      How wrong you are, with more than a little dash of spite, to write that the left doesn’t appreciate achievement and success.

      Next time, try not to create a straw man to attack when you come back and post here.

    • Submitted by rolf westgard on 11/09/2013 - 05:43 am.

      Comment from the vocal lefty

      Actually much of what I write in the Brainerd Dispatch is in opposition to the Obama administration’s energy policies. One of those editorials got me tossed from the Crow Wing DFL hierarchy.

  8. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/07/2013 - 12:15 pm.

    Waste, fraud, and abuse

    Wow, what a brilliant insight! It’s a wonder that every candidate since the birth of Republic hasn’t jumped on this and made it an empty cliche. If only this had been thought of before, we could be saving . . . how much, again?
    Well, that doesn’t matter, does it? Because we know that the wastefraudandabuse cuts won’t affect all the deserving people who get SNAP. We also know that it’s only social welfare programs that are rife with wastefraudandabuse. Take care of wastefraudandabuse, and our problems will be over.

  9. Submitted by Mike Worcester on 11/07/2013 - 01:32 pm.

    Talk About Wastefraudandabuse!

    The construction of so many big box retail stores–and yes Mills Fleet Farm is in the category–is rife with it.

    Sweetheart land deals, tax increment financing that virtually never benefits the city involved, and deferred property taxes all a pattern of Main Street was demolished by corporate greed.

    How does the wage scale of a Mills store compare to other big boxes? Do they pay a liveable wage? Or are a good number of them also receiving SNAP assistance?

  10. Submitted by Cameron Parkhurst on 11/07/2013 - 03:06 pm.

    Nothing new to see here

    Same response as most everyone else. Mills offers nothing new to the debate and spouts the same old tired cutting spending message. Has anyone ever heard a Republican or conservative ever claim that spending has been cut enough already? Even when one Republican follows another in the same office, the message is always more cuts.

  11. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 11/07/2013 - 03:48 pm.

    Seven Pillars of Wisdom

    I always have to laugh when I see some pol or university administrator making a pitch and mentioning N pillars of thisandthat. N is usually a small number like three or four because the usual pitch will be simple minded.

    TH Lawrence in his classic “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” had it right:

    “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”

  12. Submitted by Manuel Castro on 11/07/2013 - 04:43 pm.

    Hi, I’m Steward Mills, I’m rich, and I’m here to say…

    I’m going to keep it that way.

    Vote Mills 2014!

  13. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 11/07/2013 - 08:42 pm.

    What branch of the Military did..

    ..Mills serve in? What other jobs has he held? What are his accomplishments outside his families sphere of influence? What causes for the public good has he supported? Maybe I’m wrong about him, but that picture looks to me like a guy who never had to worry about one damn thing his entire life.

  14. Submitted by Joe Musich on 11/07/2013 - 10:14 pm.

    So tell me about the workers ….

    at every level in this family business. You know things like average wage,health benefits, distribution of salaries, history of legal interactions through the businesses, investment of income, donations, community leadership actions,etc. Panit a journalistic picture for me that I can make some judgments through. Nolan has history. Mills has got mystery.

  15. Submitted by jody rooney on 11/07/2013 - 11:12 pm.

    He’s in charge of the companies health care

    I wonder how happy his employees are with it? Just because he can’t figure out a less costly plan now that the exchange is open don’t blame it on Obama care.

    The best comment I heard here was “lipstick on a pig”

    Did this fellow graduate from highs school or ever live anywhere else?
    Does he have any qualifications in anything?

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 11/08/2013 - 04:45 pm.

      “Does he have any qualifications in anything?”

      Yes !!!

      He won a contest known as the Genetic Lottery !!!

  16. Submitted by Dave Von on 11/10/2013 - 05:59 am.

    Mills V: Nolan

    Mills would be a good choice, from what I understand about his background and edcation.
    We need more business people both in St. Paul and DC that have training and experience in management and leadership, which Nolan lacks.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 11/10/2013 - 11:10 am.

      Experience in management and leadership

      You wrote “We need more business people both in St. Paul and DC that have training and experience in management and leadership, which Nolan lacks.”

      Really?

      From http://nolan.house.gov/about/full-biography :

      “Establishing his own business, U.S. Export Corporation, he worked with then Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich to build and operate the Minnesota World Trade Center in downtown St. Paul. He later served as president of the Minnesota World Trade Center Corporation and chaired the International Association of World Trade Centers’ Trade and Policy Committee, the world’s largest private sector international trade group.”

      “Rick is also the former owner of Emily Wood Products, a small sawmill and pallet factory in the northern Minnesota community of Emily. He successfully built the business and generated good jobs in the area.”

      That’s just part of what’s on that website, and there are others as well. Rick Nolan has plenty of “training and experience in management and leadership”.

      Google is your friend.

    • Submitted by Bruce Johnson on 11/10/2013 - 03:10 pm.

      Rick Nolan lacks experience in management and leadership?

  17. Submitted by Doug Trumm on 11/11/2013 - 11:06 am.

    Call a lie a lie: The food stamp program is NOT rife with fraud!

    In FY2011 SNAP’s error rate was just 3.8%. This would make it one of the most efficient government programs I can think of, ahead of Medicare fee-for-services (8.5% error rate) and way ahead of Medicare part C (13.4%). Conservatives can huff and puff about food stamp inefficiency, but the cold hard facts are the even private business deal with fraud and bureaucratic errors to tune about 5% in losses per year, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Thus, SNAP’s 3.8% error rate is actually low even for the private sector. Seeking to squeeze money out of that program is taking food out of the mouths of people who legitimately need it. The USDA reports “76% of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all SNAP benefits.”

    I can’t help but think we as a society are falling prey to the rightwing echoing chamber if we believe the food stamp program is rife with fraud. We sitting by while sequestration cuts the program by 10% and the GOP-led House is seeking to cut $40 billion more out of the program over the next decade. I think one of the most honorable things our government can do is protect our children from growing up malnourished. If anything we should be looking for ways we can do more or encourage the purchase of fresher, healthier foods with SNAP dollars rather than using a nonexistent fraud epidemic to severely slash the program.

    For a bible thumping political party this is the epitome of hypocrisy. What do the gospels teach if not helping the needy and seeing that they do not go hungry?

    [http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/just-how-wrong-is-conventional-wisdom-about-government-fraud/278690/]

    Real SNAP stats (not talking points):
    [http://feedingamerica.org/how-we-fight-hunger/programs-and-services/public-assistance-programs/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program/snap-myths-realities.aspx#_edn6]

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/12/2013 - 05:13 pm.

      Why SNAP?

      It seems Local and State governments should be caring for their citizens. The feds should be worrying about national defense and other issues.

      I’ll never understand why Liberals want to fund programs that help individual citizens at the highest possible level of government… Thereby ensuring at least 3 levels of bureaucracy and waste are needing to be funded.

      Please also note that the farm program funds also pay for “nutritional assistance” for middle and upper class children… http://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/national-school-lunch-program

      No matter who you are, the tax payers are paying for part or all of your child’s school breakfast, snacks, lunch, etc… It seems there is some unnecessary spending there… I think I could afford to buy my children lunch.

  18. Submitted by John Appelen on 11/12/2013 - 05:22 pm.

    Charity vs Peter/Paul

    The Bible speaks of charity and voluntarily caring for the less fortunate. Through this process of giving, both parties receive.

    I must have missed the part that said “though shall forcibly steal from Peter and give to Paul”… Even if Paul just isn’t motivated to work hard, makes poor choices, etc.

    I’ll have to go look through it again. Do you have a chapter and verse to point me in the correct direction.

    Don’t forget to pry your wallet open on 14Nov13.
    http://givemn.razoo.com/giving_events/GTMD13/home?

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 11/13/2013 - 08:21 am.

      Why is it so hard for you to remember . . . . .

      Why is it so hard for so many people to remember that we don’t run our country or our state according to the Bible? We run it according to laws which are not required to conform to any religious creed or doctrine.

      That being said, let’s say we go through the proper process of deciding to withhold assistance from those who “aren’t motivated to work hard, make poor choices, etc.” Now you have to go through the process of arriving at a legal definition of “not motivated to work hard and makes poor choices” in order to distinguish between those who are entitled to receive aid and those who aren’t.

      Once that legal definition has been agreed upon and put into law, you now have to establish the process by which it is accurately applied and enforced to the population seeking aid so that you’re sure that those who actually ARE “deserving” are able to receive the help they need.

      Oh – and you also need enforcement provisions to find and punish those unmotivated poor-choice-making people who manage to obtain help the new laws do not entitle them to.

      Yup. No bureaucracy there. Nope. None at all . . . . . . .

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/13/2013 - 09:21 am.

        You are correct (kind of)

        That is why these decisions and operations should be at the local / state level, not at the federal level.

        Moving it to the federal level is just some group of people trying to impose their belief system across the whole country, and doing it very inefficiently and ineffectively.

        Just curious… Do you not believe in Universal Principles?
        http://give2attain.blogspot.com/2010/09/g2a-principles.html

        Of course our laws are based on belief systems… Be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Liberal, Conservative, etc.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 11/13/2013 - 12:42 pm.

          There you go again

          Trying to redirect MinnPost traffic to your blog. Sorry – not gonna bite.

          However, I did Google “Universal Principles” and got a smattering of all sorts of kinds of different websites all over the place. So it looks like there are all sorts of people out their who have their own ideas about what “Universal Principles” are. I’m not particularly interested in your version.

          And just HOW does this relate to the topic of the thread which is Stewart Mills’ “four pillars”? (And I’m sure Mr. Mills has his own idea to add to the pile of what would constitute “Universal Principles” as well.)

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 11/13/2013 - 12:16 pm.

      Bible

      I don’t remember the bible placing any conditions on how to help the less fortunate. I think Mathew 19:24 and 21:12 do a good job of addressing what Jesus thought of your interpretation.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/13/2013 - 01:33 pm.

      Say “Amen!”

      Yes, Jesus was all about being judgmental! All through the Gospels you see contempt for those who aren’t motivated to work hard or make hard choices etc. “Woe unto you of the looter class!” Very Christ-like.

      I missed the part of the Bible that said the edicts about charity and compassion were voluntary. Would you care to cite that chapter and verse? I seem to recall they were mandatory, and not left open for discussion.

  19. Submitted by John Appelen on 11/13/2013 - 09:16 pm.

    Time Lapse Commenting

    It is very hard to have a dialogue when to it takes 4+ hours for comments to get through moderation. And some disappear.

    Is this what other commenters experience? Just curious.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 11/14/2013 - 08:01 am.

      It varies

      A lot of times the posts I type early in the day (say, before 7:30 or 8 am) will show up very quickly, whereas posts I type midday can take hours. Sometimes it’s better in the evenings and sometimes not. And I have no expectations when it comes to the weekends.

      I have also had posts that never appeared, and if I’m pretty sure there was nothing objectionable about them I’ve tried again and had success the second time.

      I attribute this to the fact that MinnPost moderators are volunteers, so I expect they probably have more time available (on average) outside of normal working hours. I’m also guessing that on different days there may be different volunteers working with different levels of availability, thus accounting for the inconsistency of midday timeliness.

      And as for the occasional disappearing post that goes through the second time? I figure they get pretty swamped with the volume, and occasionally one gets lost rather than outright rejected. Annoying, but not the end of the world.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/14/2013 - 03:09 pm.

        Not ignoring you…

        FYI, I valued the comments above and replied to all of them…

        However they disappeared into the ether. I’ll try again if I get time…

  20. Submitted by jason myron on 11/14/2013 - 10:39 am.

    If you’d like to know why liberals

    want SNAP and other programs federally funded as opposed to the local and state level, look no further than your own comments. Too many states with Republican majority legislature or governors have the exact same attitude such as yours…that people who need assistance are lazy. They’ve done everything they can to shame and cast dispersions on the less fortunate, the jobless & the homeless You assume that if you can buy your kid lunch, everyone else should be able to. It’s so easy to pass judgement on others without any knowledge of their personal struggles, but that eliminates any need to feel empathy. Just the fact that you can equate SNAP with “forcibly stealing” from you, illustrates why I want people like you to have zero influence as to who gets help.

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