Wage Terrorists

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Teachers unions typically threaten to strike if they don’t get more money. It’s like strapping a bomb to the kid and saying, “Pay us the money or the kid gets it.”

This Time It’s Different. They strapped a bomb to themselves and are saying, “Close the school or the teacher gets it.”

Millions of parents are muttering, “Yeah? Push the damn button.”

Joe Doakes

I’d hate to be a teacher that is, shall we say, a “skeptic” about Education Minnesota these days.

Blue Fragility: Open Letter To Jonathan Chait

To: Johnathan “Chaitful” Chait
From: Mitch Berg – Red State Sleeper Agent
Re: This Little “Eliminationist Hatred” Problem You Have

Mr. Chait

We go way back, of course – and not in a good way. You have a bit of a history of being a horrible excuse for a human being. But you are a gift that keeps giving, for people like me, so for that I thank you, even if backhandedly.

This past week, you wrote an article in “New York Magazine” claiming that the Republican response to Covid is, in your terms, a “Death Cult”.

I won’t pullquote anything – the article is long, and never really improves over the title.

But I have two questions.

First, some background – here’s the listed Covid fatalities/million as of last Friday:

  • NY (D): 1,684
  • NJ (D): 1,790
  • US average: 474
  • FL (R): 319
  • MN (DFL): 291
  • TX (R): 241
  • ND (R): 135

So I’ve got two questions for you, Mr. Chait:

  1. Did you ever refer to Cuomo (or the governors of NJ/CT/MA) as running a “death cult?” I’ll confess, I’m an infrequent reader of yours. I only read you (or John Fugelsang) when you step on your d**k spectacularly – but I’d hate to be unfair.
  2. I wager you a shiny new quarter that as of November 3, 2020, TX and FL will be below half NY’s fatalities per million. Any action on that bet?

Thanks.

By the way – at the risk of sounding uncharitable, there are times that I think you are God’s karmic gift to me for never teasing the short-bus kids in elementary school. For this, I thank Him, and urge you to keep up the, uh, work, karmically speaking.

That is all.

Side Note: I’m making this the The George W. Bush Corollary To Berg’s Seventh Law – All of a Republican’s sins, imaginary or (for sake of argument) real, will be forgotten once the Republican can no longer hold office. 

Priorities

Dissent will not be tolerated:

The Attorney General has leapt into action, suing the organizers.

In the meantime, the group of over-schooled, under-educated children of the political class who destroyed state property as the cameras rolled…

…and the State Patrol looked on are still “under investigation”.

“Some animals are more equal than others”

Price

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Went to dinner at Old Mexico in Roseville, sat on the patio, a pleasant evening. Dinner for three, one drink each, no appetizer or dessert, with tip, $100.

Is it just me, or are post-covid prices significantly higher than pre-covid prices?
 This is going to cut into my dining budget, which will extend the economic harm from the governors orders. 

Joe Doakes 

Restaurants are pricing the contortions they’re going through into their menus.

Or going out of business.

My favorite BBQ joint has jacked up its prices. Still worth it, but I can feel the pain – some of it. I imagine it’s worse for them (although they are doing very well).

Not much in between.

Let’s Set The Record Straight, Here

Since the topic of political “extremism” is on everyone’s mind, I may as well get this out there.

I’m an extremist.

I’m an extremist for Western Civilization.

I’m an extremist for the legacy of the value of the individual that comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition.

I am a zealot for that civilization’s rejection of group guilt for the sins of the individual.

I am a full blown foot soldier for the idea that rights – freedom of expression, conscience, innocence until proof of guilt, and defending my life, family, home, freedom and community – are all indivisible parts of being human, not “privileges” granted to you by a benevolent government (and taken away by a less-benevolent one).

I am a militant (intellectually speaking, and here’s hoping it can stay that way) for the notion that “citizenship” means having all the powers, rights and responsibilities of government, allowing me (and you!) to govern a society together, regardless of (indeed, ignoring completely) the rest of our various identities.

I’m a howling berserker (again, purely intellectually, here) for the free markets of ideas as well as goods, which has made this civilization the most humane human system in all of history.

I am a full-blown crusader for the tolerance of dissent, and indeed exaltation of informed criticism of and dissent from our rulers, our laws, and indeed the imperfections of Western Civilization itself that our civilization, pretty much alone among all the world’s cultures through history, invented – as well as for the ability to tolerate, learn from, and co-exist with other cultures as equals in the eyes of God and the law…

…while keeping, living by, and proselytizing the parts of our civilization that have made it the system in human history that has most effectively and systematically upheld the dignity and value of human life, even with all its (amply studied) imperfections.
I’m a stormtrooper for the ideal that these freedoms, exaltations, values and traditions are not zero sum propositions; that taking freedom away from someone doesn’t give you more.

I’m a flag-waving militiaman for the imperative to spread those freedoms to as many people in the world as want them – and, if needed, defend them from those who don’t.
For those things, I’m an extremist. A peaceful one, one that welcomes both agreement and civil disagreement.

But I’m absolutely an extremist. You can have my Western Civilization when you pry it from my cold, hand – and you will spend an eternity trying to pry it from my hot, living soul, and failing.

“Extremism in the defense of freedom is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue”
— Barry Goldwater.

Course Of Events: A “Berg’s 21st Law” Story

Found on Twitter. Verdict: Absolutely true – but it doesn’t go far enough.

30 Days from Now: “Expecting protests to be ‘peaceful’ is a sign of white privilege.”

60 Days from Now: “Any ‘violence’ inflicted on you at a peaceful protest is deserved – expecting not to have violence committed on you at a protest is a sign of privilege”

90 Days from Now: “Violence is Peace”

Remember – Berg’s 21st Law is a law for a reason.

Blue Fragility: Numbers Game

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals keep haranguing us about Covid numbers, comparing New York to Florida, Minnesota to Wisconsin. They want us to believe open states fare worse than closed states. I don’t believe the numbers Liberals use are apt comparisons.

Covid kills old people. It’s reasonable that places with more old people would experience more Covid deaths. Raw number of deaths, and deaths-per-million-of-total-population, don’t take into account how many of the population are old enough to be at-risk (leaving aside the fact nobody believes the reported death numbers). You have to look at the at-risk populations to see how various states are doing.

There are 5,800,000 people in Wisconsin, 16.5% of them over-65, for a pool of 957,000 at-risk seniors, of which 906 have died of Covid.  That gives Wisconsin an at-risk death rate of 0.094%

There are 21,500,000 people in Florida, 21% of them over-65, for a pool of 4,515,000 at-risk seniors, of which 6,100 have died of Covid. That gives Florida an at-risk death rate of 0.135%.

There are 5,600,000 people in Minnesota, 16.3% of them over-65, for a pool of 912,800 at-risk seniors, of which 1,600 have died of Covid.  That gives Minnesota an at-risk death rate of 0.175%.

There are 19,500,000 people in New York, 17% of them over-65, for a pool of 3,315,000 at-risk seniors, of which 32,700 have died of Covid. That gives New York an at-risk death rate of 0.986%.

Minnesota’s results are twice as bad as Wisconsin’s (17 to 9).

New York’s results are SEVEN TIMES as bad as Florida’s (98 to 13).

Among the at-risk population, open states have decisively better results.

That’s a story that needs better telling.

Joe Doakes

That’s been the case since the beginning of this plague: “Blue State” pundits, pols and Karens have been predicting perdition for uppity square-staters with the fervor of Pentecostal ministers.

The comparison is less and less inapt every day.

Programming Note

As background: Thursdays are usually my slow day here on SITD. I usually do a little surge of writing over the weekend that tides me through the first half of the week – and the end of the week usually brings its own observations I scramble to get in for Friday.

But late-week fatigue, other commitments, and the like have made Thursdays the red-headed step-day of the Shot In The Dark schedule for years and years, now.

I’m going to fix that. Sort of.

So – the urge to do another book project has overtaken me. And writing Trulbert as a “Dickensian Serial” on this blog six years ago was not only a lot of fun, but short-circuited some of the usual pitfalls of trying to write a book, most particularly the whole “self-discipline” thing.

Indeed, I believe the fact that one of you readers called it exactly that was what sparked an interest to turn an extended series of “comical” posts into a novel. And it was suggestions in the comment section that led to an actual ending.

So I’m gonna do it again. I’m going to earmark Thursdays for the new project.

Or should I say, “new” project.

Thursdays will likely be light on other content, and devoted to a “chapter” of my next project.

More next week.

For The Record

While I haven’t probably kept up with all of Pete Townsend‘s work since “White City“, I have to say if I were to put together a list of his most overlooked solo/non-Who work, my list would look very much the same as this, and more or less the same order.

“The Sea Refuses No River” is far and away his most underrated song. And “White City Fighting” should have been a hit.

Seattle: Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

Seattle cops, barred the use of tear gas and other non-lethal force, are telling businesses “sorry – you’re on your own”.

Given that “keeping order” – making a city a safe place for law-abiding taxpayers to be – is one of local government’s most unambiguously legitimate missions, this should really wake all but the most deluded Seattleoids up.  

I said ‘should”. 

Masquerade

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Went to dinner at friend’s house, no masks or distancing, and got to admire his M1 from the CMP program. Solid people.

His wife is afraid Democrats will never let us take off our muzzles but I explained the marks silliness will only last through the recount.

Last January, impeachment was a ploy to get Trump out of office. It failed.
Covid is a ploy to prevent Trump from getting re-elected. When it fails, they will drop it and move to a different play to get him removed from office. I suspect it will be another attempt at impeachment, this time based on tax returns.

Masks are temporary. Does not make them less annoying, but the end is in sight.

Joe Doakes

Even if mask mandates are as effective at disease prevention as they are at logrolling compliance, this whole episode points out that when the people get terrible information, the rumor mill – and its high-tech analog, “fake news” – fill in the gaps.

And yes, it is all Governor Klink’s fault.

For The Children

As this is written, the general trend in research indicates that children – under 10-ish – suffer exceptionally mild symptoms of Covid, frequently none at all, and may not even transmit it when infected (which may or may not be related to the observation that asymptomatic people may not spread it, either).

At the same time, the nation’s teachers’ unions are demanding a near-complete lockdown, including another stretch of “distance learning” – which for many children is the worst possible way to learn, amplifying the stultifying effects of sitting in a desk with the boredom of never leaving home at all – even if the home isn’t an unpleasant or cramped place to be, as indeed it is for many, largely inner-urban children. And that’s for kids where learning at home is even an option.

We’ve all heard the stories – children rendered paranoid about germs and masks, terrified about dying hooked up to a ventilator or being left orphaned, kept sometimes literally sequestered away from the world, including the in-person socializing that’s such a vital part of childhood, often by the same parents that are the most obnoxious, hectoring helicopter elders stereotype can muster (I have to figure that yesterday’s “helicopter parent” is todays’ Karen, while we’re on the subject).

So what’s that going to do to kids?

Probably nothing good.

And, given the shadiness and opacity of Governor Klink’s response, I have to wonder – what if, along with a “mail-in” election that could put the DFL’s mass of fraudulent registrations into play, “raising a generation of kids so insecure, damaged and anxious they make millennials seem like John Wayne in comparison” is the actual goal?

Anxious, insecure people who’ve had any notion of self-determination strained out of them are “progressivism’s” farm team.

Psychologically speaking, this quarantine may well be the biggest “grooming” exercise ever attempted.

The Line That Needs To Be Drawn In The Sand. Stat.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Republicans agreed to police reform bills in the second special session.  This is a mistake.

There should be NO legislative action, on ANY proposal, until Dictator Walz relinquishes his totalitarian control over the entire state back to the peoples’ elected representatives in the legislature.

Otherwise, it never ends.  Ever.  And in that case, why do we need the Legislature at all?

Joe Doakes

Couldn’t agree more.

Not one bill.

And if the GOP caves on the bonding bill – or any bill while the emergency is in effect – I’m going to have to reconsider why I vote GOP at all.

In Much The Same Way As OJ Is Looking For “The Real Killers” (Part II)…

…Big Left is scouring the world for that wave of “white terror” that, we have been assured since 2009, is imminent.

But again, Big Left has met its enemy, and they are it:

In Much The Same Was As OJ Is Looking For “The Real Killers”…

…Big Left is looking for the real racists.

But they have met the enemy, and it is them.

Some Good News In 2020

Quick tangent before I cut to the chase: is anyone out there as sick as me about people whining about how awful 2020 is? Yes, epidemic and riots and collateral damage, this generation’s 9/11, yadda yadda, I get it, it’s the worst thing people under thirty have ever seen. Gotcha.

Comparing it to 1962, or 1942, or 1933-1936, or 1915, or 1861, or pretty much any year the bubonic plague was active, seems pretty…trivial.

But never mind – the year, bad or overrated as it may be, just got a little better:

Much as I’d love to see one of the media outlets go to court, and lose big, this is a great start.

Contingency

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed…er, mid-last week:

Governor Walz is set to announce a state-wide mask order.  It’s
necessary, to prevent the spread of Covid-19 virus.  He hasn’t said so
yet, but he’ll be cancelling the elections soon.

Why?  Isn’t it obvious?  If the Covid-19 virus is so deadly that we must
wear masks at all times, even standing in line outside a store with the
breeze blowing, then surely it’s so deadly that we cannot stand in line
outside a polling place with the breeze blowing.

Unless . . . maybe voting is like rioting?  Maybe the virus doesn’t
spread during voting the way it spreads during singing, for example in
church, and more like the way it doesn’t spread during shouting, for
example at protests.

Anyway, it’s too late now to switch to on-line voting or mail-in
ballots.  And despite the endless tinkering with the dials to perpetuate
the terror, the DNC’s internal polling numbers show Trump doing
surprisingly well in Minnesota.  Voters simply aren’t blaming Trump for
Walz’ actions.

No, there’s just too much risk.  We can’t take the chance of something
going disastrously wrong.

The elections are canceled.

Joe Doakes

Who needs elections when we have hundreds of thousands of fraudulent registrations to do our voting for us?

The Second Amendment Freedom Activist’s Eternal Lament

As David Harsanyi notes, there is no issue save religion that the mainstream, especially “elite”, media, do a worse job of covering than guns.

At RealClearPolitics, John Lott reports that legacy media outlets often quite literally allow anti–Second Amendment activists to write their news stories on gun policy. Politico hasn’t quite done that today, but . . . well, I’m not sure having reporters dutifully repackaging Everytown USA press releases is any better.

The whole thing is worth a read – not that it tells you anything you don’t know.   Even the best better among Twin Cities newsrooms, NPR, has given anti-gun activists an unfettered, unedited and un-fact-checked voice (although as we noted at that time, the bias’s roots were more likely financial than ideological). 

The media does do a terrible job.  Not for lack of effort on the part of gun-rights activists…

…and not without some good results.   I’ve noticed, at least at the local level, that journos can – or at least could – be taught.  Over the years, there’ve been examples of reporters that actually listened, and learned to write the whole story and tell the truth on the issue…

…before moving on elsewhere and being replaced by a new wave of journos with the same set of superstitions their predecessors had slowly cut loose.   The whole new generation then needs to be slowly, painstakingly taught that “gun owner <> incipient mass murdering white supremacist”.  

It’s a job that, it seems, will never end. 

Of course, any hint of departing from the narrative is weeded out at the local level – there is not a single national “journalist” outside overtly conservative media that can cover this issue fairly, or even accurately.   And Big Left runs a constant effort to groom reports to take Big Gun Control’s “facts” as fact.  

Which, as Harsanyi notes, is all too successful.  

By the way – if you are among the journos who reads this space, I’d be more than happy to take you to the range one of these days.  Have your people call my people.  

Decree From Management

To: Readers of “Shot In The Dark”
From: Mitch Berg, Editor/Publisher/Writer
Re: Accepted Terminology

Esteemed Reader,

In the past, on this blog, I have referred to “Antifa” – the descendent of the Communist version of the Brownshirts – as “Anti”-Fa, to infer, correctly, that they are “anti” fascist in the same sense as Stalin was “different’ from Hitler.

This is simply too laborious.

With that in mind, henceforth the group will be referred to by a more correct and rhetorically economical moniker.

Vanilla ISIS.

Thanks for seeing to this.

That is all.

Loose

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It annoys me when writers are carefree with their words.  As Mark Twain pointed out: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”


This article starts out saying: “So when a crisis of the magnitude of the COVID-19 global pandemic forces restaurants to close, and their revenue drops to zero overnight, things get particularly dire.”

Except it didn’t.  Covid was not the cause, Covid was the excuse.  Restaurants were closed by the government and remain closed to various degrees in various states because of politicians

There is no evidence bar patrons in Wisconsin (wide open) are dying in greater numbers than Minnesota (some controls) or California (total ban).  Same virus, diffferent government, different revenue loss,

Okay, it’s nit picking.  I get that.  But still, blaming your restaurant woes on a virus is a conceptual error.  It’s not the virus’ fault.  It’s the Governor’s fault.  And we must not forget that because there is always an excuse to take away your rights, if we’re willing to let them.

Joe Doakes

Most journalists – including some NPR “science correspondents” – can’t discern cause and effect, or correlation and causation, much less the finer points of science.