Things I Largely Don’t Care For, But Am Chagrinned To Find I Don’t Madly Dislike

I never cared much for late’80s-early ’90s Hair Metal.

If I were a rock historian, I’d say Hair Metal was a snapshot of a particular era – the cha-cha days of the late Reagan / George HW Bush years – and a particular place, a very prosperous and dissolute Los Angeles.   You’ll note that was a time of my life I was neither especially cha-cha nor prosperous, nor, I hasten to add, a the angry teenager I’d been 5-7 years earlier who’d marinated his brain in the Clash, the Kinks, the Who and the like.

So the whole genre sort of left me cold.

Poison?   A lite-metal boy band.

Motley Crue?  A bunch of yobs trying and failing to ape Alice Cooper. And that’s if you leave out Vince Neil’s role in the death of “Razzle” (more below).

Cinderella?  Please.  Waterboard me.

But as with all episodes of this “Love and Hate” series (click the tag below for some history), I’m writing this not to bury hair metal, but to praise it.

Well, some of it.

And I know what you’re gonna say.  “Everyone likes Guns ‘n Roses.  That’s a gimme”.

And indeed you’re right:

Beyond that, though?

When I was at KDWB in ’90-92, listening to the night shift, it occurred to me “Slaughter doesn’t totally suck”:

I mean, if you’re in the mood for some Robert Plant lite. And I was.

Skid Row? Not sure why I didn’t hate them; more relatable to me? Less contrived? More interesting? I have no idea anymore.

But hate them, I did not:

And why not Hanoi Rocks – Finland’s greatest band, and the band that is to hair metal what Creedence Clearwater was to the sixties; a solid rock and roll band with a way with a hook and a single:

Of course, the band took a solid shot in the, well, hairdo when drummer “Razzle” was killed in a car crash with Motley Crue’s Vince Neil; Crue went on, while Hanoi Rocks slowly fizzled, in one of rock history’s greatest injustices.

So yeah – can’t stand LA Hair metal.  Except when I can.

Berg’s Seventh Law Is Getting Creaky And Worn Out From Constant Over-Use

If a conservative were to say bla blq bla that Jimmy Kimmel just bla bla bla yadda yadda:

In the place of ABC’s late-night Jimmy Kimmel: The “Man Show” Jimmy Kimmel. The only thing missing were the women on trampolines.

Kimmel took aim Thursday at the Christian proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. For the late-night funny man, the takeaway from Jack Phillips’ refusal to bake a cake celebrating a trans person’s transition is that the cakemaker might be gay, and that he sure looks gay.

“It’s funny because this is a guy who spends all day, every day, meticulously designing flowers out of icing. His whole life is gay, OK?” Kimmel said to laughs. “I don’t know if the wrong cake might bring that to life or what.”

The late-night host turned his attention to the shop owner’s physical appearance, adding for good measure that Phillips is “the totally straight cake baker.”

“You would think that someone who looks like the Reba McEntire’s version of Col. Sanders would be more sympathetic to gender identity issues,” the host laughed.

“Progs” jabber about “right wing hate”, and then marinade their own culture in the real thing.

The most depressingly evergreen story in all of media.

 

Free House. Near Whole Foods. Subaru Needs Work.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If you are a Minnesota White Male who sincerely believes that white privilege exists, that it arises from the vestiges of slavery still persistent in our society, and that you are tainted with it solely because of your race, then you must concede it would be immoral for you to continue to exploit your white privilege at the expense of other, more deserving persons of color and gender.

Having conceded it’s immoral for you to keep your job, your house, your car and your retirement account, shouldn’t you quit your job, give away your house and car, close your retirement account and distribute it to the people holding cardboard signs at stoplights? Shouldn’t you pull your kids out of STEM school so they don’t grow up privileged and thereby perpetuate the inequalities in society?

Shouldn’t a person of moral integrity immediately act to redress existing injustice and avoid causing more?  If you fail to do so, doesn’t that make you a hypocritical lying crap-weasel?  Why would I listen to anything a person like that says to me about privilege or race?

I’m waiting for all the “Free House, Volvo Included” signs to pop up in Mac-Groveland.

You and me both ,Joe.

This Is Your DFL Candidate For Attorney General

As I discussed on the show on Saturday, I believe in innocence until proven guilt, even in cases of domestic abuse.   We don’t, as the hysterical left is wont to say, “Believe Accusers” because of some a priori  conflation of assumed victimhood and virtue.

We take accusers seriously.  And that means accusers of either gender.   Women are thumpers, too.   Take them seriously, and find out the truth.

So in the wake of the DFL Politburo Central Committee voting 82-18% to go ahead with endorsing Ellison, I won’t be joining the horde demanding he step down from the race over the domestic abuse allegations.  There’s juuuuuust enough missing from Karen Monahan’s story to make me want to get the actual facts – preferably, to see (or have lawyers and prosecutors see) Monahan’s elusive video.

Maybe it’ll be enough to convince voters that he’s not a great fit to be the state’s top law-enforcement officer.

And I don’t care.  Because for a rational person, there are plenty of other excellent reasons not to allow him within a mile of the Attorney General’s office.

Gonna Dust Some Cops Off

Ellison’s history of cuddling up to cop-killers – without a lot in the way of nuance or question – should give one pause:

In September 1992 Minneapolis police officer Jerry Haaf was murdered execution-style, shot in the back as he took a coffee break at a restaurant in south Minneapolis. Police later determined that Haaf’s murder was a gang hit performed by four members of the city’s Vice Lords gang.The leader of the Vice Lords was Sharif Willis, a convicted murderer who had been released from prison and who sought respectability as a responsible gang leader from gullible municipal authorities while operating a gang front called United for Peace.

The four Vice Lords members who murdered Haaf met and planned the murder at Willis’s house. Despite the fact that two witnesses implicated Willis in the planning he was never charged because law enforcement authorities said they lacked sufficient evidence to convict him.

At the time, Ellison was a Minneapolis attorney in private practice. And within a month of Haaf’s murder, Ellison appeared with Willis supporting the United for Peace gang front. In October 1992, Ellison helped organize a demonstration against Minneapolis police that included United for Peace. “The main point of our rally is to support United for Peace [in its fight against] the campaign of slander the police federation has been waging,” said Ellison.

Read the whole thing.  Goodness knows the local media won’t be running anything of the sort.

Ellison The Ideologue

Even before he became the Deputy Chair of the DNC and one of the de facto leaders of the most “progressive” wing of the Democrat conference in DC, Ellison was a noted extremist.

No – I mean extremist:

While speaking to an atheist group in 2007, Ellison compared the Sept. 11 attacks to the Reichstag fire. He stopped just short of accusing then-President George W. Bush of having a hand in the attacks. “It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that,” Ellison said of the terrorist attacks. “After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.”

Ellison went on to say he wouldn’t suggest the U.S. had a hand in the attacks because “you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you,” before later walking back the comments.

About Those Jews

It was probably ten years ago, appearing on a podcast run by a local center-left pundit, that I got my only chance to actually talk with Ellison.

I got one question out:   “Do you renounce the Hamas charter?”

I was referring, of course, to the parts that call for the eradication of Israel, and the extinction of the Jewish people.

Ellison’s response:  “Do you know any Arabs?”

Not sure if he was expecting me to respond “Some of my best friends are Arabs” or what – but the rest of his answer was peevish deflective baked wind, intending to turn a simple question into an ad hominem against me – for trying to get a straight answer about a record that could be charitably called corrosively antisemitic.   And has been.

Domestic abuse is the least of the questions Ellison should be impelled to answer.

So will anyone in the Twin Cities media bother asking?

Anyone Remember #MeToo?

Either does the Minnesota DFL Central Committee:

Ellison received 326 votes, or 82 percent of delegates on hand at the party’s state executive committee meeting Saturday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The endorsement comes after Ellison won the Democratic primary just days after Karen Monahan said Ellison had once dragged her off a bed by her feet while screaming obscenities. Ellison has denied the allegation. Monahan has said she has video footage of the 2016 encounter, but has declined to release it. Ellison says the video does not exist.

People are innocent until proven guilty.   Domestic abuse is itself abused in this country.   We should take accusers seriously – but guilt until proof of innocence is a notion worth fighting – rhetorically, politically, legally and if necessary militarily.

But I come not to bury Ellison (more later).   I come to pillory the MNDFLCC.  #MeToo was never anything but a virtue-signaling cudgel to use against conservatives (until it largely backfired, taking out Al Franken, Garrison Keillor, Dan Schoen and perhaps Ellison).

It’s the moral equivalent of Al Gore flying to Indonesia in a private jet to lecture the world about the climate;  it’s a moral imperative for the rest of us, an inconvenience to them.

Aborted In The First Trimester

Michelle Wolf’s really awful Netflix show canceled after three months:

The move comes just a couple of weeks after BET announced it was cancelling The Rundown with Robin Thede after its first season. That cuts the number of late-night-style shows hosted by women in half, with only TBS’ Samantha Bee and Hulu’s Sarah Silverman left standing.

And with a little luck, Bee’s wretched show will be dying from apathy before too long.

It’s not all good news: The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale also got tubed.

 

Things That Make Joe Go “Sigh”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Senator Feinstein’s driver didn’t have access to sensitive information, so who cares that he was a Chinese spy?

 

Unless she talked on the cell phone, maybe to Hillary . . . .

 

***

 

Dang, I was just getting ready to buy an iPhone SE.  But if they won’t allow hate speech, I couldn’t talk to anybody.

 

***

Pretty soon, all speech that isn’t banned will be mandatory.

 

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin passed away yesterday.  She was 78.

This Detroit Free Press obit is uncommonly excellent.

The first real exposure to Franklin I ever got, growing up in the middle of country-western country, was working at my first radio job.  Where I heard “Respect” for the first time – and felt a chill that the human voice could do…that.

My favorite is still “I Never Loved A Man (The Way That I Loved You).

But perhaps my ultimate testimonial?  When my oldest was born, “Aretha” was on the short list of names.

Off Script

Minnesota Democrats and the media that work for them will be and to some on natural angles to justify the behavior of Democrat politicians – especially virtue signal sponges like Keith “Thumper” Ellison.

But once in a while, you get surprised:

If the allegations are true, Keith Ellison has no right to serve as the state’s chief legal officer. And he had no right to run under false pretenses, as a man standing wrongly accused. Voters had only his word on that claim, and the investigation is ongoing.

In the meantime, Keith Ellison must withdraw from the race and not put Minnesotans through another cycle of political scandal. They’ve been through enough.

It’s very simple. We believe survivors.

Politics doesn’t matter. We believe survivors.

Keith Ellison says he wants to protect women from domestic violence and sexual assault. That starts by believing survivors.

As a matter of fact, I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty.

Given that representative Allison as often supported policy is (especially on domestic violence and gun control) that repudiate that idea, I don’t feel a lot of sympathy for him.

Disastro

The thuds heard across the Italian line at 2am on October 24th, 1917 were not the usual sounds of artillery.  No explosions followed, only the clanking sound of canisters falling from the sky.  The hiss that followed was unmistakable – the release of poison gas.

The weary Italian troops in their trenches had been prepared for this eventuality and were armed with gas masks.  But the front line trenches were in a valley, with no wind and fog, meaning the gas would linger on the ground.  Italian troops began to panic, knowing their masks would only last a couple of hours, at most, before the chlorine-arsenic would literally melt the plastic and allow the gas into their lungs.  As Italian troops attempted to retreat, the Austro-Hungarian line erupted in artillery fire, striking down entire units.  German mountain troops, armed with the new more portable 08/15 Maxim machine gun and flamethrowers stormed the Italian trenches, improving upon the same tactics the Germans had first experimented with at Verdun.  The Italians were overwhelmed.

Near the Slovenian town of Caporetto, the Italian army would be dealt one of the most decisive blows in the entire Great War.  The military and political effect would alter the strategy of the entire Entente and leave scars on the Italian psyche that persist to the modern age.

Italian prisoners at Caporetto – it was one of the largest surrenders in Italian military history


With modest exceptions, the Italian front had largely stayed the same since Italy’s entry into the war in the spring of 1915.

Despite achieving a relative breakthrough at the Sixth Battle of Isonzo in the late summer of 1916, Italian forces had again found themselves deadlocked against the mountainous front lines of the Austro-Hungarians.  In offensive after offensive, the Italian army either gained no ground or made minor gains for equal or greater casualties than their Austro-Hungarian opponent.  By the summer of 1917, the reality of the Italian front had become painfully clear to both the Allies and Central Powers – changing the status quo would likely require outside intervention.  The only question was which side would accept their ally’s help first?    Continue reading

This Is Minnesota’s Gun Control Movement In Action

Gun control groups don’t care about saving lives.

It’s true in big ways – you will never see a gun control group, or at least not one of the main line, lily white ones like Everytown Julie one of their protest in any American inner city, which is where the vast majority of the “gun violence” actually happens. In fact, you could hear some of their partisans even trying to change the subject back when the topic strange away from school shootings.

So there’s that.

But just to further illustrate the movements depravity – and I use that term with full knowledge of what it actually means – look at this little bit of social media effluvia from “Protect” Minnesota from the other one

I’m not sure if I have ever seen and less responsible posting – even for a bunch of teenagers.

But this should clarify things; the “Gone Safety” movement hasn’t the foggiest thing to do with saving lives. It’s about controlling society.

And it seems I owe Heather Martens an apology. For years I said, not joking in the most remote way, that she had never, not once, made a single original, true, substantial statement about guns, gun owners, gun control, gun history or anything to do with the subject. And that was absolutely true.

But the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence – who replaced Heather as director of “Protect” Minnesota – Adds a little extra twist to the formula; she seems to generally despise human beings. Which seems an odd trade in a Lutheran minister.

And To Think They Say “Progressives” Are Illiterates About Economics

Remember when people called Sarah Palin vapid and dim?

But Alexandira Ocasio-Cortez and the ever-more-vacuous Chelsea Clinton

“Whether you fundamentally care about reproductive rights and access right, because these are not the same thing, if you care about social justice or economic justice, agency – you have to care about this.

It is not a disconnected fact – to address this t-shirt of 1973 – that American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added three and a half trillion dollars to our economy. Right?”

Huh.

And if we had a few million more people with active minds, in a society that hadn’t come to accept infanticide and with a family structure that hadn’t broken down, imagine what would have happened then?

The whole left owes Palin an apology.

Also, everyone else.

Two Standards For The Price Of One For Happy Hour

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is enjoying a primary-night libation, engrossed in reading results in a booth at a local tavern – so miuch so he doesn’t notice Avery LIBRELLE has entered the room and noticed him.   By the time BERG notices, it’s far too late.

LIBRELLE:  Merg!

BERG:  Hey.

LIBRELLE:   Look at all that DFL turnout in the primaries yesterday.

BERG:    Huh.  Yeah, look  at that.

LIBRELLE:  Ketih Ellison won!

BERG:  Yeah.  Huge suspense there.  Hey – question for you.  Do we always believe women who report violent physical abuse?

LIBRELLE:  What, are you a barbarian?  Of course we do.

BERG:  So Ms. Monahan, the woman who claimed Ellison abused her…

LIBRELLE: Worthless lying whore.

BERG:  Huh.  So…women who claim abuse…

LIBRELLE:  Above reproach.

BERG:  Women who claim abuse by Keith Ellison…

LIBRELLE:   Filthy trollop!

BERG:  …or Al Franken…

LIBRELLE:  Vile harridan!

BERG:  …Garrison Keillor…

LIBRELLE:   Two-bit crack whore!

BERG:  … women making claims against men in general?

LIBRELLE:  Absolute moral authority.  #MeToo

BERG:  Women accusing prominent Democrats

LIBRELLE:  Wretched filth.

BERG:   Huh.   Gotcha.  Hey – did Paul Wellstone just walk in?

BERG slips away as LIBRELLE looks around. 

And SCENE. 

The Demography Of Anti-Democracy

A friend of the blog writes:

This story, which will likely be explained away as a harmless anomaly, hints at what is likely a much larger issue.

A dozen invalid ballots? I would like to know if the full dozen were all witnessed by the same ineligible person or if its a dozen ineligible persons. I would also like to know the reason for their ineligibility (i.e. out of state resident, suspended civil rights, or simply failure to register to vote). Given that CD1,CD2 & CD8 are all in play for possible Republican takeover and CD5 has media darling Omar who, like Ocasio-Cortez, must be supported at any cost to keep the millennial voters interested enough to vote, it is not unlikely that the ineligible witness is an out of state operative associated with the DNC or one of the Soros based groups. I would also like to know what subgroups those ineligible ballots came from (black, Asian, Hispanic, etc). If Omar loses out to Keliher then she’s out of office/politics for at least a couple years

Greater Minnesota seems to be getting redder, so the DFL needs its bulwark in the metro to be as strong as possible.

No matter how many shenanigans they need to pull.

Doakes Potpourri

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We need universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, like these.

 

***

 

When politicians are spending taxpayer dollars, they have a moral obligation to get the most value for their money.  In olden days, that meant “cheapest price” but nowadays, it means “promotes social justice” which is why they have quotas for minority-owned and female-owned businesses that can’t compete on price.  Oddly, the school district is short of money, which couldn’t possibly have anything to do with intentionally overpaying for goods and services, could it?

 

***

 

I’m confused by this protest at the police station.  What, specifically, is the solution they demand?

 

  1. Police should prove the shooting was justified?  They will, in good time.  So why march today?
  2. It doesn’t matter whether the police say the shooting was justified, shooting members of specific racial or tribal groups is never justified, ever, at any time for any reason, not even in self-defense!  Okay, so why march at the police station today, why not lobby the legislature for new law exempting certain groups from being arrested when they shoot up apartment buildings?
  3. Police shouldn’t shoot anybody, ever, at any time for any reason, not even in self-defense!   Okay, so why march at the police station, why not lobby the Mayor and City Council to disarm all cops.  Take guns out of officer’s hands, no more officer-involved shootings.  Simple.

I’d love to get on board with the protest but I can’t figure out what we’re protesting for.  Shouldn’t I know that before I hit the bricks?

Pfft.  All that matters is that you show up when told.

This Should Be A Surprise To Nobody

People with carry permits commit gun crimes at about 15% the rate…

…of police.

“With about 685,464 full-time police officers in the U.S. from 2005 to 2007, we find that there were about 103 crimes per hundred thousand officers,” the report reads. “For the U.S. population as a whole, the crime rate was 37 times higher—3,813 per hundred thousand people.”

The study refers to Texas and Florida, which it says mirror most other states, to compare permit holders with police and the overall population. It used data from 1987 through 2015.

“We find that permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at less than a sixth the rate for police officers,” the report says. “Among police, firearms violations occur at a rate of 16.5 per 100,000 officers. Among permit holders in Florida and Texas, the rate is only 2.4 per 100,000.10. That is just one-seventh of the rate for police officers.”

And that includes Florida, which is…well, Florida.

Gallipoli on the Baltic

For a conflict that had unleashed countless examples of technological marvels – airplanes, poison gas, flamethrowers, tanks – coordination, not innovation, appeared to be the missing elixir for all the major combatants.

Each military breakthrough had been tentatively tested by the warring parties, often in isolation.  The Germans had little idea how powerful poison gas would be; as a result, the earliest uses saw little territorial gain despite the weapon’s terrifying potential.  Britain’s faith in the tank had slowly evolved to trying to throw entire fields of the diesel beasts against trenches – moves that would leave dozens of them exposed to artillery fire and picked off, one by one.  The campaigns of aircraft bombing or naval landings saw more failures than successes with General Staffs resistant to change despite the horrendous casualties.

But on October 12th, 1917 off the West Estonian Archipelago in the Baltic Sea, the destructive potential of intra-service coordination would be witnessed.  A modestly-sized German amphibious invasion would coordinate naval and air power, as well as the sort of infiltration tactics the Germans had experimented with at Verdun and Caporetto.  The result would be more than another German victory on the Eastern Front, but a preview of the future of warfare.

German troops load onto a landing boat – Germany had no doctrine of naval landings and very little history of attempting any


By the fall of 1917, Germany’s armed forces had proven themselves victorious against Russia on every battlefield but one – the Baltic Sea.

From the beginning of the Great War, Berlin’s General Staff had hoped to eliminate the Russian Baltic Fleet, thus protecting German iron ore shipments from Sweden while freeing up naval units to combat the British Royal Navy.  Russian minesweepers had coated the Baltic while British submarines, operating out of Russian ports, continually harassed German vessels.  Clearing the Russians out of the Baltic could reap other benefits as well – allowing for German units to be moved by ship behind the Russian line and or even threaten St. Petersburg/Petrograd with an invasion.   Continue reading

Root Hog Go Hungary

Hungary bans Gender Studies courses at state universities:

A Hungarian government spokesman told Breitbart the country’s employers have “no demand for gender studies graduates.”

The new rule won’t affect many; only eleven students were admitted to the gender studies program at ELTE, and only two more at George Soros’s CEU according to the Breitbart report.

Wonder if we can get Viktor Orban to run for governor of Minnesota?

About Those Crickets

Everyone in Minnesota politics is buzzing about the rather serious domestic abuse allegations against Congressman and Attorney General candidate Keith Ellison.
 
Everyone but the news media.
 
Members of that media are responding – understandably – “we’ve got to have time to actually do our jobs, here”, and “Accuracy > Speed”.
 
Which all makes sense on its face – but then, there’s some history involved.
 
In 2006, Ellison was running to replace the retiring Martin Sabo – and while the DFL as a rule can nominate a set of wind-up chattering teeth in the 5th CD and get 70% of hte vote, the polling must have looked a little tight (1).
 
The StarTribune ran an “October Surprise” hit piece against Alan Fine, Ellison’s GOP opponent, about a domestic abuse *arrest* ten years before, in the middle of a custody fight.
The Strib didn’t include in its report the fact that Fine was never convicted – the accusation was tossed for lack of evidence – and that Fine went on to get custody of the couple’s kid (which never happened in Minnesota at that time), and that his ex-wife wound up getting convicted of domestic abuse herself, in a later relationship, all of which tends to support Fine’s response.
 
I did a ton of writing on the subject, as did Scott Johnson – an actual lawyer:
I also had one of the story’s reporters on my show at the time. I asked her (in one of the better interviews I’ve ever done) why those salient facts, which were a matter of the legal record of the case, were not reported at the time. She said it was an editorial decision – there’s only so much space that can be devoted to a story.
 
Which claim I went on to flense, by going through the story and figuring out how much redundant fluff could have been cut from the original hit piece to make room for a simple paragraph showing, for balance, Fine’s side of the story.
It wasn’t even difficult.
So when journalists claim they’re not rushing material about Ellison out to air/print because “they’re trying to get things right” – well, maybe (2).
 
But there’s some very troubling history, out there, and you’re a pollyanna if you dont realize it.
 
(1) It seems unbelievable looking at Minneapolis these days, but Ellison got 50% of the vote. Fine got 25%, and an Independence Party candidate got another 25%. To be fair, she was both a great campaigner and, um, photogenic as hell.
 
(2) I’d say “ask Rod Grams”, but he’s unfortunately unable to respond.

Submitted For Approval

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I propose a new Berg’s Law.

“Socialists are frustrated people who believe that after the revolution, their worth will finally be recognized and they’ll triumphantly assume command, they won’t be purged with the rest of the kulaks, saboteurs and wreckers.  About this, they are uniformly mistaken.”

Joe:  Your proposal has been submitted to the Berg’s Law peer-review committee.

It has serious potentijal.

An Affair to Vaguely Remember

To describe St. Petersburg as in a state of chaos on the night of September 10th, 1917 would hardly differentiate the date from any other in the city’s post-Tsar existence.  Already twice in 1917 had the capital appeared on the brink of revolution, successfully casting off Nicholas II in March and enduring a Bolshevik-inspired series of violent protests in July.  In between, St. Petersburg/Petrograd had suffered from continued crippling deprivation and political dysfunction as the Provisional Government and elements of the various Soviets battled for control of the city and the country.

But for the first time in ages, St. Petersburg’s chaos came with a sense of political unity, however temporary it might be.  The latest threat to the capital wasn’t monarchists or Communists, but something far more terrifyingly tangible – a massive Russian army marching to end the political battles of the Soviets and Provisional Government by removing them both and placing the empire under a military dictatorship.

Yet the narrative of the conservative and royalist Russian military attempting to crush the nation’s fledgling democracy would become only muddier as the days progressed.  General Lavr Kornilov, the appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army, claimed he was acting on orders from the Provisional Government’s Prime Minister Alexander Kerensky.  The Bolsheviks and some members of the Soviets claimed Kerensky was orchestrating the entire affair to bolster his position, or was trying to remove the Soviets by force.  Kerensky believed it was an international conspiracy to remove him due to his leadership role within the Petrograd Soviet and leftist leanings.

It was a rorschach revolution – with all sides seeing what they wanted to believe – and a revolution Kerensky hoped to end on September 10th with a telegraph to Kornilov, dismissing him from his post with orders to return his army to their barracks.  Kerensky believed he had put the issue to bed; Kornilov believed Kerensky had already been overthrown and that the telegraph had forged by revolutionaries.  The stage appeared set for Russia’s third revolution in 1917.

Gen. Lavr Kornilov – the full extent of the motivations for his quasi-coup are shrouded in mystery


For an army that had experienced a near total collapse, Lavr Kornilov was a poor choice to lead it.

The debacle of the Kerensky Offensive the previous July had led to a breakdown of the Eastern Front, with Central Powers forces advancing with little to no opposition.  Aleksei Brusilov, the reformist general who had been exceptionally popular with his men, had been dismissed by Kerensky following Brusilov’s insistence on the return of capital punishment for disobedient soldiers.  “Only the application of capital punishment will stop the decomposition of army and will save freedom and our homeland,” Brusilov implored Kerensky.  Brusilov was hardly eager to crush the Soviets – in fact, he held a number of left-leaning sympathies that further isolated him within the army, on top of his half-Polish lineage – but the old cavalry hand knew that sometimes the riding crop had be used.  For his blunt assessment, Brusilov was sent into retirement and his deputy, Kornilov, was appointed in his place.   Continue reading

Orwell Was A Pollyanna

Ben Shapiro challenged prog flavor of the month Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to a debate – something she’s never had in her “political career”.

Now, there’s no requirement that a pol debate anyone, ever – even their opponents for office, much less pundits.   Of course, it can be used against you – not that it matters in a one-party town like Ocasio-Cortez’ district.

And there are so many ways to decline a debate request like this:

  • “Sorry – I’m getting ready for a general election (coronation?), and I’m too busy”.
  • “Debating you will be of no consequence to serving (koff koff) my constituents and my district.  Why would either of us waste our time?”
  • “I’ve got drapes to measure that evening”
  • “I gotta wash my hair”.
  • Or the old reliable “<silence>”.

That’s not what Ocasio-Cortez did, though:

Asking for a debate is “like catcalling” – sexist, intrusive, unwanted, arrogant.

A response that is, itself, sexist and arrogant, and a sign of a mind that can think on no other plane than the politics of identity and outrage.

Congratuations, New York.  You got another winner here.  (Not that Minnesota has anything to brag about, since the equally risible Alondra Cano  Alondra Cano, Ray Dehn and Keith Ellison remain in office).

SIDE NOTE:   Remember when the same people who are raving about Ocasio-Cortez today were calling Sarah Palin  an ignorant dumbass?

This is the sound of “the bar” in freefall.

Just Joe’s Imagination

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

is an imaginary conversation that could never happen in a Minnesota bureaucracy:

Colleague: Trump is an idiot.  “Who knew health care could be so hard?”  Moron.  Single-payer is the answer and easily affordable.  For example, if 3M didn’t have to pay employees’ health insurance premiums, 3M could afford to pay more taxes to buy everybody health insurance.  Apply that principle across the board and Problem Solved.  But Trump’s so stupid, he can’t understand simple math.

Me: Well, yes, 3M would save money on premiums.  But instead of buying health insurance for its present workforce of 90,000 people, 3M would be footing the bill for all of them PLUS a bunch of presently-uninsured people.  If each person’s health insurance cost the same under single-payer as it does under the present system, 3M would pay MORE in taxes than it now pays in premiums.  That’s bad for profits which means bad for shareholders who buy stock in big, safe, blue-chip companies, shareholders such as pension funds.  Why hammer retirees?  What have you got against them?

Colleague:  Unless the individual cost of health insurance under single-payer is cheaper, then it would work.

Me:  Seriously? Do you also believe we’ll save $2,500 per year and be able to keep our own doctors?  You’re an adult.  You have a college degree.  Do you really believe health care is unlike any other commodity and therefore is exempt from the laws of supply and demand?  Obamacare is collapsing because it was unsustainable from the day it was enacted and everybody knew it, which is why they bragged about lying to get it passed.  The costs have skyrocketed exactly as predicted.  Nothing about single-payer will change that.

Colleague:  It’s the Republicans’ fault that Obamacare isn’t working better, they should have fixed it when they had the chance.

Me:  [Interior monologue: The guy seriously lives in fantasy land.  If I push him too hard to confront the disconnect between his fantasy and the real world, he might snap.  I’d better back off, give him his safe space.]  Okay, dude, whatever, see you around.

Of course, this is an imaginary conversation.  Could never happen in real life.

Right?

Joe Doakes

In Ramsey County?

Maybe a time or 200,000…